Severe Weather Awareness Week: Flooding

How Flooding Can Impact Your Life

Severe weather season is upon us and this week is Severe Weather Awareness Week across South Dakota. Each day this week we will tackle a different severe weather topic. Earlier this week Brandon broke down the difference between a Watch and a Warning.  On Tuesday, Blaise discussed severe thunderstorms and what makes them

Missouri River Flooding, 2011, Blair, NE

“severe,” while yesterday, Brandon touched on tornadoes and the danger they pose. Click the links to learn more about those stories.

When you think of the most dangerous element of severe weather, what comes to mind? Many people would probably answer with the typical: tornadoes, wind, or hail.  Well, that’s not quite true.  Believe it or not, flooding actually causes more deaths than any other severe weather hazard. Half of those deaths occur from people driving into flooded waters.  The good news is, many deaths from flooding are preventable.  We all know the phrase, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”  If you abide by it, it could save your life.  Remember, as little as six inches of moving water can knock over an adult, 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, while 18 inches or rushing water can carry away larger vehicles.


One of the most recent flooding events here in our very own backyard was in 2011 when the Missouri River flooded.  It left many areas in the Sioux Empire under water for three to four months.  It killed five people and caused $85 million in damage.

That is an example of river flooding, but there is another type of flooding as well: flash flooding.  Flash flooding is produced by heavy rainfall over a short period of time. This happens instantly and it is much harder to predict the timing.  River flooding is more predictable and happens over a longer period time. It occurs when a body of water can no longer handle the amount of water in it.  Both types of flooding are very dangerous, but while they can’t be prevented, you can prepare for them to help minimize their impact on you.

The best things to do when flooding is imminent are:

  • Have a plan for your home and family
  • Prepare an emergency kit
  • Charge your important electronics

You can always count on us here at the KDLT to keep you informed on impending severe weather.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on the ever changing forecast, and to help stay ahead of severe weather.

Kole Fehling

Categories: Weather, Weather Blog

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