What is flash flooding and what to do during flash flooding?

What is flash flooding?

Flash flooding is when excessive rainfall falls in a short period of time. The NWS puts that short amount of time at less than 6 hours. Flash flooding occurs in urban areas and in mountain canyons. Note, flash flooding can occur when there is no rain. Flash floods can be caused by a sudden release of water from a levee, dam, or ice jam break.

What to do during flash flooding?

When dealing with flash flooding, please remember, flash flooding is a lot faster than regular flooding. Time is very important, gather all your important documents quickly and move to higher ground!

Never drive, walk, or swim through flooded roads/areas, turn around don’t drown. Venturing out during regular floods is very dangerous and life-threatening. Going through flash flood waters is even more dangerous and life-threatening. Flash floods just like regular floods can pick up debris but flash floods will take the debris along with it as the water moves very fast. Remember, it doesn’t take much water to knock a person off their feet.

If stuck in your home or a building, move to the highest level. Make sure you have a way to contact emergency services.