FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Another round of heavy rainfall from Friday evening into Saturday morning is expected for northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
When very heavy downpours occur, the threat of flash flooding can increase.
Unfortunately, many people underestimate the power of water.
In 2020, there were 59 flood related fatalities.
Of those 59, six died in Franklin County, Indiana when a bridge collapsed due to flash flooding.
Two vehicles were swept into the water, leading to those six fatalities.
Over a thirty-year average from 1991 to 2020, flooding is the second-leading cause of fatalities, behind heat.
But, what is the difference between flash flooding and a flood.
When conditions look favorable for flash flooding to occur, the National Weather Service will issue a Flash Flood Watch. When flash flooding is imminent or occurring, a Flash Flood Warning will be issued. #lawx #mswx #MSPrep #SeverePrep pic.twitter.com/k1ubIbYFO6
— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) February 24, 2021
Flash flooding can happen whenever it rains.
It is caused by heavy or excessive rainfall over a short period of time.
The water exceeds the absorption of the ground and the water fills up normally dry creeks, streams or ditches, which in turn overfill their banks.
Flash flooding is more dangerous because water levels rise at a rapid pace, and it is very powerful.
If the road is flooded ahead, don't risk it: turn around, don't drown. pic.twitter.com/or7MXPXGoz
— FEMA (@fema) May 1, 2017
According to NOAA, just 1 foot of water is enough to float most cars, and 2 feet of flowing water can carry away a large vehicle.
The highest risk of flash flooding generally occurs around metropolitan areas like Fort Wayne.
For instance, the highways, parking lots and various other structures increase the runoff because there isn’t anywhere the water can go.
Runoff increases the flash flood potential.
A flood is long-term, not dependent on falling rain, and it can last for days or weeks.
Flooding is caused by a surplus of water, which is what we will probably be dealing with as we approach next week.
When the National Weather Service issues Flood/Flash Flood Watches and/or Warnings, the best thing to do is to avoid ponding on the streets and find a different route.
Never drive through flood waters, it’s not worth the risk.
You never know how deep it is, if there’s a road underneath the water, or what sort of debris is flowing in the water.
Turn around, don’t drown.