When the Water Level Rises
What’s a common, and often quite damaging, occurrence when storms pass through? You guessed it: FLOODING. Not only can flood waters cause significant property damage, but they can also be dangerous to people and pets. Understanding the different types of flooding that can occur in Southwest Georgia, as well as some general flood safety information, can help you better prepare and protect yourself during flood situations.
The National Severe Storms Laboratory defines three types of flooding that we may see in Southwest Georgia:
- River flooding occurs when water levels rise over the top of riverbanks due to excessive rain from tropical systems making landfall, or persistent thunderstorms over the same area for extended periods of tim River flooding tends to happen more gradually, and it often closely and reported on by local authorities. When river flooding occurs, it is important to try and stay out of the affected area, as moving flood waters can sweep people from their feet, and at high enough levels, sweep vehicles away.
- Inland flooding occurs when moderate precipitation accumulates over several days, intense precipitation falls over a short period, or a river overflows because of a debris jam or dam or levee failure. In these instances, areas that commonly do not experience flood waters may be affected. During periods of heavy rain and thunderstorm activity, it is important to stay weather aware, and if you encounter flood waters, turn around and find another route.
- Flash flooding is caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than six hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through riverbeds, urban streets, or mountain canyons. They can occur within minutes or a few hours of excessive rainfall. They can also occur even if no rain has fallen, for instance after a levee or dam has failed. Flash flooding is extremely dangerous, as little to no warning is often available. Never attempt to drive or walk through flash flood waters, and if trapped in a flooded area, move to the highest possible ground away from the water.
Protecting yourself and your loved ones is the top priority during a flood, or other storm, situation. Once the waters begin to recede, know that SERVPRO of Albany and Americus is Here to Help with your property damage needs. With the backing of over 1,700 franchises nationwide, we have the resources, expertise, and training to respond to losses of all sizes, and take great pride in being of service to our community. To learn more about our services, please give us a call at 229-439-2048.