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Spring/Summer Severe Weather Terms
Thunderstorms & Lightning Safety
Lightning Safety Awareness Toolkit for Communities
Flood Information and Safety Tips
Flood Insurance Information
FEMA: Flood Insurance Program Changes
FEMA Brochure: Build Back Safer & Stronger
Turn Around Don't Drown!
Fire Safety And Preparedness
ODMH - Dealing With Emotions After The Storm
Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms or winter snow thaws. Floods can be slow or fast-rising, but generally develop over a period of days. Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash flooding can occur with little or no warning and can reach its peak in only a few minutes.
From January through August of 2017, preliminary records from the National Weather Service indicate there were at least 77 flood-related deaths in the United States. 41 deaths occurred in Texas, most attributed to the catastrophic floods of Hurricane Harvey.
Ohio had no flood-related deaths in 2017, but did encounter heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding during the summer. At the height of the storm event in July, 12 central, northwestern and southwestern counties were impacted.
On July 13, central Ohio (Franklin, Fairfield and Licking counties) received 3-5 inches of extremely heavy rainfall, resulting in flooding and flash flooding. Montgomery and Clinton counties were also impacted by heavy rain and subsequent flash flooding.
Also on July 13, the Blanchard River in Findlay reached 16 feet, causing major river flooding. Hancock and Putnam counties were most impacted.
(The National Weather Service will post final numbers on 2017 flood fatalities by May 2018.)
Flooding is the nation’s most frequent and costly natural disaster.
Flood waters can be extremely dangerous. The force of six inches of swiftly moving water can knock over an adult. It only takes 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most other vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks. The best ways to protect yourself during severe storms and floods are to listen to weather reports for progression of storms. If it is during a flood, it is best to leave the area and seek shelter on higher ground. Never drive or walk through flooded roadways. “Turn Around. Don’t Drown.”
Flash flood waters move very quickly and can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and obliterate bridges. Walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet and generally are accompanied by a deadly cargo of debris. The best response to any signs of flash flooding is to move immediately and quickly to higher ground.
The hours immediately following a flood can be very confusing. When disaster strikes, the county emergency management agency and local government initiate rescue, evacuation and shelter missions and provide emergency assistance to meet the public’s immediate needs.
If the commissioners declare a state of emergency for the county, the local EMA may contact the Ohio EMA for assistance in coordinating state resources and response activities. Based on the extent of the incident, the governor may declare a state of emergency for the affected county or counties. If disaster damages exceed state and local capabilities, the governor may request the president to grant federal disaster assistance through FEMA.
For additional information on Ohio flooding and flood insurance, visit the following sites: