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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
Flooding is a year-round, coast-to-coast threat to the United States and its territories. Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow onto the surrounding area.
The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain and/or snowmelt that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. Approximately 75 percent of all presidential declarations are associated with flooding.
According to the National Weather Service, the U.S. had 116 flood-related deaths in 2017. The majority of the deaths (70) occurred in Texas, which were mostly 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.
Most recently in Ohio, on February 24, 2018, Gov. John Kasich declared a State of Emergency for 17 counties due to severe flooding, most notably those along the Ohio River. On Feb. 25, a 6-year-old boy drowned after being swept away in a Shelby County creek. He was playing near a creek when the ground gave way. And on March 1, an 8-year-old boy was swept away and drowned while trying to cross a fast-moving creek in Ross County.
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: