Dealing with flash flooding

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Flash flooding happens because heavy rain saturates the ground. The ground cannot absorb any more water, so the water runs – rushes! – toward the lowest spots. Heavy rain can produce flash flooding immediately, which is why it is called “flash” flooding. Sometimes flash floods can occur later.

One problem with flash floods is that the water is dirty, and you can’t see how deep the water is. Water running at 9 miles an hour – and not very deep – is fast enough to knock you off your feet if you try to wade through it. Then you tumble downstream, and you could drown.

In the Army, to check the water depth, an officer commands some private to wade out into the flood. The officer will need a good idea of the depth of the water and its speed before trying to cross the flooded area with any Army vehicles.

Civilians don’t do that. They just drive into the water.

Stop! Don’t drive your car into deep water!

If you see floodwaters, stop! Back up and go in the opposite direction. Flash floods can rise quickly, and the best place to be is someplace else. This sounds like very simple advice, but it could save your life.

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