In ancient Egypt, people liked the floods along the Nile River because the floods brought rich soil for farming.
If the weather suddenly turns hot, flooding can happen because snow in the mountains melts too quickly. In terms of lives lost and property damaged, floods are just behind tornadoes as the top natural disaster. Flash floods: Water from floods can take time to build up, allowing the population in an area time to be warned in advance.
Coastal flooding occurs along the edges of oceans, and is driven predominantly by storm surges and wave damage.
Keep your furnace, water heater, and electric panel elevated, especially if you live in an area where flooding is likely. Put together an emergency kit and make plans with your family — something that is ideal for any emergency situation, not just flooding.
If you find yourself under a flood warning, make sure to pay attention to radio or television warnings.
Damage from a flood depends on a number of things, including how long the water remains before receding and how quickly it was moving. The top five deadliest floods in world history occurred when the Huang He (Yellow) River in China exceeded its banks. Although China takes a frequent beating from flooding, the Netherlands also boast a number of deadly floods in its history. In fact, storm surge deaths caused by hurricanes dominate the list of flood dangers in the United States. Other dangerous incidents of flooding include a 1972 dam failure in Buffalo Creek, West Virginia. A 1976 flash flood in Colorado's Big Thompson Canyon after excessive rainfall created powerful water that ultimately killed 144 people and resulted in almost $40 million in damages.

In the Great Flood of 1993, excessive rainfall in the Mississippi River basin caused significant flooding that did $20 billion in damages over a period of several months. The Mississippi River has had strong historical significance in the USA from Native American tribes through to European explorers, the American Civil War, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and its modern commercial uses.
The seasonal flooding of Botswana's inland Okavango Delta can cover more than 10,000 square miles (26,000 square kilometers). Storm-driven tidal surges have caused England's Thames River to flood repeatedly, and occasionally catastrophically, throughout its history. Dams are extremely disruptive to the surrounding landscape, but are a tried-and-true method of reducing downstream flooding. Heavy precipitation can cause chunks of ice to push together and create a dam in what is known as ice jam flooding. A weakly constructed dam could receive a more substantive battering than it was designed for and give way, creating a flash flood in the regions downstream. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, attempting to drive through flood water is the leading cause of flood-related injury and death. Thirty-four thousand square miles (88,000 sq km) of land were flooded, leaving 80 million people without homes. In 1642, approximately 300,000 people died to flooding, famine, and plague when the Ming governor of Kaifeng ordered his men to break dikes along the river in an attempt to drown rebels assaulting his city. The Utah lake is a closed basin with no outlet for water, so floods like those of the mid-1980s can be severe and destructive. To protect London, the government constructed the Thames Barrier, an engineering marvel that spans the river and uses six gargantuan moveable gates to block floodwaters before they reach the city.
Such flash floods can quickly materialize miles away from where rainfall occurred, taking canyon hikers by surprise. Louis, Missouri, region show the orderly path of the Mississippi River and its tributaries in 1991 and the catastrophic flooding that occurred when unusually heavy rains caused them to overflow their banks in 1993.

Throughout history, the Euphrates River (center-left) has flooded repeatedly, often even changing its course.
Sometimes flooding causes deep water to move quickly, while other times, shallow water may linger, taking days to dissipate. At its highest, the Amazon will rise upwards of 30 feet (9 meters), submerging its entire floodplain, providing habitat for countless aquatic animals, and replenishing the landscape with nutrient-rich silt. In mountainous areas, where water flows together through steep valleys, the flood water tends to move faster and linger for a shorter duration. Eventually, the wall of ice breaks, and fast-moving water rushes downstream much like a conventional flash flood, destroying objects in its path. In an effort to control the damage, the Chinese government has built channels, dams and dikes to moderate the flow. Floodwaters destroyed bridges and telegraph lines, keeping those outside of the city from realizing the extent of the damage for some time. In an effort to control the flooding, some dams were deliberately destroyed with hopes of relieving some of the pressure.
In 1421, the tenth deadliest flood in the world occurred when storms caused dikes to collapse. Water moving at 9 feet per second (2.7 meters per second), a common speed for flash floods, can move rocks weighing almost a hundred pounds. Flash floods carry debris that elevate their potential to damage structures and injure people.

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