Northwest Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Each day this week the National Weather Service has been focusing on a different severe weather topic. Today we wrap up the week with flash flooding.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Peter Rogers at the Sioux Falls office says, unfortunately, this is a topic with which we in northwest Iowa are somewhat familiar.
(as said:)”Friday is flash flooding which a lot of us have experienced in some degree or another over the past two years with how wet it’s been. But this, in particular, is a very important topic because at least recently there have been more deaths due to flash flooding than there have been from tornadoes. So our tagline is ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown,’ meaning that if you come up to any kind of rushing water over a road or even ponded water, over an intersection to turn around and find a different way to get to where you need to go. It’s just not worth it. Not only do you not know how deep the water is, but the road itself might not be there. It might be washed out, and that can cause a lot of problems. You’re not only putting yourself in harm’s way, but also the emergency responders that would have to come and help you get out. So please take flash flooding seriously. “
According to the Weather Service, a flash flood is a rapid rise of water along a stream or low-lying urban area. Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more. Flash flood-producing rains also can trigger catastrophic mudslides.