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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Floods and Flash Floods

Out of all severe weather modes, flooding gets the least amount of attention and kills the most people.  Really sad, since it can be so easily avoided.  Below is more good information from the NWS Office in Pueblo:

Floods and Flash Floods...

...FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD SAFETY...

IN COLORADO...THERE ARE TWO DISTINCT TYPES OF FLOODING.  WHEN THE SNOW BEGINS TO MELT IN THE HIGH COUNTRY...RIVERS BEGIN TO RISE.  FLOODING ALONG RIVERS AND STREAMS CAN OCCUR WITH A VERY RAPID SNOW MELT...OR FROM THUNDERSTORM RAINS COMBINING WITH THE RUNOFF FROM MELTING SNOW. 

A FLASH FLOOD REFERS TO A DANGEROUS SUDDEN RISE IN WATER ALONG A CREEK...WASH...RIVER...OR OVER A NORMALLY DRY LAND AREA.   FLASH
FLOODS RESULT FROM HEAVY RAINFALL...RIVER ICE JAMS...AND DAM OR LEVEE FAILURES.  FLASH FLOODS CAN OCCUR WITHIN A FEW MINUTES OR HOURS...AND CAN MOVE AT SURPRISINGLY HIGH SPEEDS...STRIKING WITH LITTLE WARNING.   FLASH FLOODS ARE QUITE DESTRUCTIVE BECAUSE OF THE FORCE OF THE MOVING WATER...AND THE DEBRIS THAT ACCUMULATES IN FLOOD WATERS...SUCH AS TREES AND BOULDERS... WHICH CAN DESTROY ROADWAYS...BRIDGES AND BUILDINGS.  

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL DISCUSS FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD POTENTIAL IN DAILY HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOKS AND IN THE WEATHER STORY ON NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEBSITES.  ON DAYS WITH A HIGH THREAT FOR FLOODING YOU MAY HEAR...

A FLASH FLOOD OR FLOOD WATCH...WHICH MEANS THAT FLASH FLOODING OR FLOODING IS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.  

A FLOOD WARNING...WHICH MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR HAS BEEN REPORTED ALONG A RIVER.    

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING...WHICH MEANS THAT FLASH FLOODING HAS BEEN REPORTED OR IS IMMINENT.  WHEN A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED FOR
YOUR AREA...ACT QUICKLY.  IF ADVISED TO EVACUATE...DO SO IMMEDIATELY.  GO TO HIGHER GROUND OR CLIMB TO SAFETY BEFORE ACCESS IS CUT OFF BY
FLOOD WATERS.

NEARLY HALF OF ALL FLASH FLOOD FATALITIES ARE VEHICLE RELATED.  DO NOT ENTER A FLOODED ROADWAY...INSTEAD TURN AROUND DO NOT DROWN.  IN RAPIDLY RISING WATERS...BACKING UP AWAY FROM WITH WATER MAY BE SAFER.  ONE TO TWO FEET OF WATER WILL CARRY AWAY MOST VEHICLES AND YOU ALSO CANNOT TELL IF THE ROAD IS DAMAGED BENEATH THE WATER.  MORE INFORMATION ON FLASH FLOOD SAFETY IS AVAILABLE AT HTTP://TADD.WEATHER.GOV

DURING FLASH FLOOD SEASON...AND YEAR ROUND...KEEP TRACK OF THE LATEST WEATHER INFORMATION.  YOU CAN RECEIVE THE LATEST FORECASTS
AND IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION OF WARNINGS ON NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS ...OR CHECK CURRENT FORECASTS...WATCHES...AND WARNINGS ON
THE WEB AT  HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/PUEBLO

The 11 Weather Team also partners with the city of Colorado Springs, to educate kids on the dangers of Flash Flooding.  The Ditch Playing in Ditches program has been going for the past few years, and has been a great success.  We teach the dangers of creeks and ditches, especially when heavy rain becomes involved.  Given how many creeks and ditches exist in the Colorado Springs area, you can understand why we are at especially high risk for flash flooding.

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe

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