Flash flood safety

By  | 

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week continues In Mississippi. Thursday's topic is how to stay safe in a flash flood or river flooding emergency.

Source: MGN

Flash floods in Mississippi are mainly caused by either slow-moving thunderstorms over one area, or from a series of thunderstorms dumping heavy rain over one area in a short period of time.

"We see it more frequently in cities. So, like in Meridian, where you have more pavement, it causes the water to kind of rush into the low spots, and you can quickly have water covered roadways," says Daniel Lamb, a forecaster with the Jackson Office of the National Weather Service.

River flooding is also a major concern.

“River flooding is something that occurs over a longer period of time. As the rain from those heavy thunderstorms gradually filters through the streams and into the larger rivers, it causes those rivers to swell,” Lamb explains.

The NWS issues three kinds of flooding alerts. A flash flood watch is where conditions are favorable for periods of heavy rain over a specific area. A flash flood warning means that flash floods are occurring or are expected. Flash flood emergencies mean that flooding is so severe that water rescues and/or evacuations are underway.

The majority of flood deaths occur when the victim is driving a car, so Lamb has this advice.

“Most important thing is not to drive into areas where water covers the roadway. We always urge people to turn around, don’t drown, because you never know how deep that water is going to be," said Lamb. "If it’s covering up the road, the road could have possibly been washed away. So even if it’s a road that you’re familiar with, if you’re really in a hurry to get somewhere and you want to take a chance, you don’t know if that road is still there, it’s best to just not take a chance. Just turn around and seek an alternate route.”

Friday's topic is about winter weather and extreme cold.