Flooding and Flood Safety

Flooding is the Number One Cause of Weather-Related Deaths
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 4:35 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 10:00 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Today’s Severe Weather Awareness topic is Flooding. Though technically not one of the criteria for determining severe thunderstorms, it can certainly be a byproduct of severe thunderstorms.

There are two types of flooding we experience in southern Wisconsin: River Flooding and Flash Flooding. River Flooding tends to be more predictable and longer in duration. It can impact large areas and lead to extensive damage. Flash Flooding is much less predictable. It can happen very quickly and without warning. This type of flooding historically is the most deadly type of flooding.

The first type of flooding is River Flooding.
The first type of flooding is River Flooding.(wmtv)
The second type of flooding is Flash Flooding.
The second type of flooding is Flash Flooding.(wmtv)

When flooding occurs, the National Weather Service has several options for Watches, Warnings and Advisories.

A Flash Flood Alert is issued for a smaller area where flooding is occurring or is expected to occur. This type of alert is usually of short duration such as during and shortly after a storm.

A General Flood Alert is issued for a longer period of times and will usually be prompted by a slower rise is water levels in a stream, river or lake.

An Areal Flood Alert is issued when gradual flooding develops after prolonged periods of rain and consists of standing water in urban and rural settings as well as low lying areas. It will typically cover a large area.

There are three types of flood alerts issued by the National Weather Service. Alerts in each of...
There are three types of flood alerts issued by the National Weather Service. Alerts in each of these categories can be either a Watch, Warning or Advisory.(wmtv)

Flood safety involves a common sense approach. If flooding is occurring, move to higher ground, do not drive past barricades and do not attempt to drive across flooded roadways. More than half of flood-related drownings are vehicle related. Moving water, even at shallow depths, can easily move objects including cars.

Flooding is the leading cause of weather related deaths in the United States. During periods of extensive rain, rapid snow melt, and/or severe thunderstorms, water can rise quickly and become dangerous over a short period of time. This can lead to extensive property damage as well as loss of life. It is important to stay weather aware and keep tuned to NBC15 broadcast weather reports. You can also keep up to date on the latest information anytime online or on our weather app.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.