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Short Term Flooding Hazards

RISK LEVEL
HAZARD DESCRIPTION
Low
  • Small streams, creeks, canals, and drainage ditches may become swollen and overflow in a few places.
  • In urban locations, ponding of water may occur at certain underpasses or poor drainage spots. Storm sewer drains and retention ponds may become near full and overflow in a few places.
  • Flooding is expected to pose a low threat, mainly an inconvenience, likely only impacting a few buildings and roads, with few if any evacuations necessary, and causing only minor damage.
Moderate
  • Area rivers and tributaries may become swollen and start to overspill their banks in a few places.
  • Small streams, creeks, canals, and drainage ditches will likely overflow.
  • In flatter terrain, expanded areas of inundation may occur around low-lying spots covering several secondary roads.
  • In urban areas, expanded areas of inundation may occur at several underpasses or poor drainage spots, with some streets and parking lots taking on moving water up to a foot deep. Storm sewer drains and retention pondswill likely fill and overflow.
  • Flash flooding is expected to cause a moderate threat, more than just an inconvenience. Flooding will likely impact several buildings and roads with several evacuations necessary, and produce moderate damge.
High
  • Area rivers and tributaries may overflow their banks in several places.
  • Small streams, creeks, canals, and drainage ditches may become fast flowing dangerous rivers.
  • In flatter terrain, extensive inundation may occur covering both primary and secondary roads.
  • In urban areas, widespread inundation is possible, with streets and parking lots becoming rivers of moving water.
  • Flash flooding is expected to pose a high risk, and may significantly impact many buildings and roads, with many evacuations necessary, and produce major damage.

General Information

Short term flooding hazards can be classified into two types:

Flash floods are rapid rises in water that can begin within a few minutes or hours of heavy rainfall. Water rises rapidly, and moves swiftly, carrying cars, ripping trees from the ground, and even destroying roads and bridges.

Urban/Area floods are rapid events, although not quite as severe as flash floods. Still, streets can become swift moving rivers. This type of flooding can occur in urban areas where water cannot be aborbed into the ground, but instead into storm drains and sewers, and in flat low lying areas with poor drainage.

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Flooding Safety Tips:
  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, or your favorite news source for vital weather related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, etc.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don't Drown!
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don't Drown! If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

This Outlook is an Experimental Product for Planning purposes Only!!!

The local hail hazard graphics are valid for roughly a 24 hour period from the time of issuance (between 4 AM and 6 AM) until 8 AM the following morning. The highest expected risk possible for the duration of the graphic will be depicted. Only one of the listed criteria needs to be met fo inclusion in a higher risk category

Updates will be posted for significant forecast changes and as time permits. As the weather threat increases throughout the day, or becomes imminent, tornado watches and/or warnings will be issued.

The outlook graphics are an effort to improve the interpretation of our outlooks and statements. This product is provided for emergency managers, law enforcement, schools, local media, businesses, and the public. Use the graphical hazardous weather outlook to factor the threat of hazardous weather into your daily plans.


DISCLAIMER: This is an experimental service designed to supplement pre-existing, official means of communication. Timeliness and reliability of products obtained from the Internet are not guaranteed.

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This project is being developed in an effort to achieve goals set forth in the National Weather Service's Strategic Plan.

Updated 7/13/2004