Flooding and flash flooding is one of the more common forms of severe weather we see in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Flooding usually comes from heavy rainfall, but in the winter months snow melt in the mountains can aid in flooding.
Photo Credit: NOAA
Like other kinds of severe weather, watches and warnings are issued when flooding is either likely or imminent. However, there are a couple of different kinds of watches and warnings when it comes to flooding. When high water is expected, flood watches and warnings go into effect. However, flash flood watches and warnings are issued when water levels are expected to quickly rise. Flash flooding could occur in just a couple hours, or in some cases possibly just a few minutes.
The National Weather Service’s slogan for flooding is “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” One of the reasons for this saying is because it is very difficult to tell just how deep flooded water is. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to sweep you off of your feet, and only a foot and a half to lift a car off of the road.
Some other safety tips when it comes to floods include never walking through flooded water, moving to higher ground or a higher level in the building you are in, and to obey any evacuation orders, should they be given.
For a full list of flood safety tips, as well as addition flood safety information, click here.