The 2022 observance of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Georgia wraps up with a Friday focus on Flash Flooding/Flood Safety.
According to the National Weather Service –
Although not widely known, flooding kills more people than any other weather hazard. The majority of deaths from flooding occur when people become trapped in automobiles that stall while driving through flooded areas. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related. Flooding is usually divided into two categories. These categories are flash flooding and river flooding. Both of these can cause death, injury, and property destruction.
Flash floods are usually caused by slow moving thunderstorms or thunderstorms that move over the same area one after the other, called training. These floods usually occur within 6 hours of heavy rainfall and are usually more life threatening as a result. Areas most prone to floods are mountainous streams and rivers, urban areas, low-lying areas, and culverts. A good example of flash flooding is the flooding in metropolitan Atlanta in September of 2009.
River flooding is caused by the gradual increase in the water level of a river or creek. These floods usually occur seasonally with general rains or with heavy rainfall from tropical systems. A good example of river flooding is the flooding that affected south Georgia after Tropical Storm Alberto in 1994.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family?
- Know what to listen for. A Flood Watch or a Flash Flood Watch means that conditions have been detected that could lead to flooding of a certain area. A River Flood Warning or a Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent and you should take action immediately. You can monitor NOAA Weather Radio or any local radio or TV station to get the latest information.
- If flooding occurs get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding such as canyons, dips, and low spots.
- Avoid areas already flooding, especially if the water is fast flowing. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Road beds may be washed out due to the flooding. Never try to cross flooded roadways. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.
- If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.
- Additional information on flood safety can be found in the Flood Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross.
The Floyd County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) supports the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the National Weather Service in observing February 7-11, as Severe Weather Awareness Week. For more information, contact Floyd County EMA at 706.236.5002 or visit these Web sites: www.floydcountyga.gov, www.gema.ga.gov, www.ready.ga.gov. Locals may also download the Floyd EMA mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play; it is free of charge.
Tim Herrington, Floyd EMA Director, indicates that the mobile app may be used to register for Floyd County’s CodeRED weather alert system.
Locals may also sign up for CodeRED via the Floyd County webpage, states Herrington.