Severe Weather Awareness Week: Flooding


DES MOINES, Iowa — River flooding may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear about flooding, but flash flooding is a much bigger threat to life and property as it happens very quickly. Take the June 2018 metro flood, for example. Any area is susceptible to flash flooding if the rain falls fast enough. Four inches of rain in one hour is going to have a much bigger impact on an area that sees 4 inches of rain in four hours. Regardless of how much water is on the ground, whether or not you are in a vehicle, you are advised to stay out of that flooded water.

“There are so many hidden obstacles in the water that even with a four-wheel drive vehicle that’s made to go off road, it’s not necessarily safe,” said Dutch Geisinger, deputy director of the Polk County Emergency Management. “Frequently we lose manhole covers during flash flooding. The pressure from the sewers is not enough to keep the lid on. So we have hidden obstacles like holes underground, debris floating downstream, trees, those kinds of things that make it very difficult to pass in a vehicle.”

Six inches of water is enough to knock a person off their feet, and 18 inches to 24 inches of water is enough to sweep away an SUV. There can also be a lot of different toxins and bacteria in the water that can cause severe illness in humans and pets.

Preparing for a flood and cleanup info:

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