This Video Perfectly Shows The Speed, Power, and Danger of Flash Floods

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 11, 2022
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Six inches of quickly rushing water has enough force to knock someone off their feet. The best flood defense is to evacuate the area and seek refuge on higher ground. Flash flood waves can tumble rocks, uproot trees, wreck houses, and damage bridges because they move so quickly. 

Walls of water are typically accompanied by a deadly freight of debris and can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet. Cars can easily be swept away in just 2 feet of flowing water. A car should be abandoned if flood waters are approaching it. 

Severe weather chasers are brave individuals looking for a thrill when it comes to extreme weather, such as flash flooding. David Rankin has plenty of experience and knowledge when it comes to these disastrous water systems. 

Not only does he chase them, but he can also teach you all about how dangerous floods can become in one of his popular Youtube videos. Rankin stands right in front of the flow as the water rushes in, carrying thousands of trees and other debris. 

According to The National Severe Storms Laboratory, floods kill more Americans each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning. Only an increase in temperature causes more weather-related deaths in the United States each year. Being the most frequent weather-related catastrophe, floods can happen in any state.

What Causes Flooding?

Floods can happen when dams fail or when too much snow melts too soon, but they most frequently happen as a result of persistent rain. Rankin also mentions flooding can happen after a strong storm due to an accumulation of debris and rainfall. Flooding may ensue if storm drains are overloaded as a result of this. When normally dry creeks fill up and other streams overflow, flash floods happen. This is more likely to occur abruptly in densely populated places. 

One of the major functions of soil is to absorb water. Let’s imagine your town experiences a sudden rainstorm; runoff is rainwater that doesn’t get soaked into the ground but instead pours over it. If the ground is already very wet when the rain begins to fall, it won’t be able to absorb much more water. As a result, there may be a ton of runoff, which considerably raises the possibility of a flash flood.

What can be done to prevent flash floods like these, then? Some towns use man-made ponds to catch runoff before it enters residential areas. Since 1998, the emphasis has been on using natural remedies, like restoring floodplains along the Yangtze and planting billions of trees. 

But given that climate change will increase the frequency of flash floods like this in the future, perhaps even more radical action is required, such as preparing for a new baseline of rain and flooding.

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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