Wednesday is Flash Flood Safety Day!


Missouri Flood vs. Tornado Deaths

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Flood 2 2 3 9 2 3 3 0 7 1
Tornado 7 13 4 19 3 4 158 6 0 0

Flash flood/flood events have been a major weather killer in Missouri for many years. Only recently, due to a number of major tornado outbreaks, have tornado deaths outnumbered flood deaths over the past 10 years. If you look at the table above, you will see that the number of flood-related deaths remain consistent, while tornado deaths tend to fluctuate dramatically.

Many people do not realize the power of flowing water. Trees, buildings, automobiles, and people are easily swept away by flood waters.

FACT: Six inches of swiftly flowing can knock a person over.

FACT: Two feet of water will cause most vehicles to float.

Areas that are a major problem are LOW WATER CROSSINGS. As the name implies, during low water there is usually no problem. However, when the water rises, especially quickly as in a flash flood, low water crossings can become DEATH TRAPS. Cars are easily swept downstream and often overturn, trapping occupants inside. There is a very simple rule to follow when you encounter a flooded road in your vehicle: Turn Around! Don’t Drown! (TADD:

NEVER drive into a flooded area! Be especially cautious at night when darkness will often hide flood dangers. If you live in a flood prone area, have a plan of action in case flooding strikes. Stay tuned to the latest weather developments and be ready to move quickly. Abandon personal property and move to higher ground.

Camping near small rivers is very popular but can also be very dangerous. Two campers were killed in 1997 when their riverside camp site was inundated by a flash flood. Remember that heavy rain upstream may lead to serious flooding at your location with little or no warning. Avoid camping along small rivers or streams when heavy rain is in the forecast anywhere in the stream basin.

Be smart and stay safe!

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