Severe Weather Awareness Week, Day 3

Floods and Flash Floods

On a National Level...
Floods claim nearly 200 lives annually, force 300,000 persons from their homes, and result in property damage in excess of 2 billion dollars. Characteristically, 75 percent of flash flood deaths occur at night with half of the victims dying in their automobiles or other vehicles. It may be difficult to believe, but many deaths occur when persons knowingly drive around road barricades indicating the road is washed out ahead.

There were no flood-related fatalities or injuries in Minnesota or Wisconsin in 2009.

In 2008...
Wisconsin had one flood-related fatality in 2008, late on June 12th near Wales, when a man drove into a flooded area. Minnesota also had one flood-related fatality in 2008.  This occurred on June 12th near Oakland when a man drove into a flooded area

In 2007...
Disastrous flooding struck southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin on August 18th and 19th. Eight people died that weekeend...  7 in Minnesota and 1 in Wisconsin. Most deaths occurred in vehicles. A statewide record for 24-hour rainfall was set in Minnesota when 15.1 inches fell 1 mile south of Hokah.

Are You Prepared?
Assume a thunderstorm produces 6 inches of rain in less than 6 hours time near your community. Storms of this magnitude or greater occur several times each year in the U.S.  Would you know what action to take to protect yourself and the people who depend on you for safety? After a major flood event, one of the most common quotes from the survivors of the flood is the expression they did not believe it could happen to them or in their community.

Before the Flooding...
There is nothing anyone can do to prevent the occurrence of flash flood producing rainfall. However, by striving for sound flood plain zoning, developing an emergency action plan in advance of the disaster, purchasing flood insurance at least 30 days before the flooding, and being aware of the dangers associated with extremely heavy rainfall and flooding, there is a chance of decreasing the death toll and property damage that results from flash flooding.

 More information on Severe Weather Awareness Week.

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