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2014 Flood safety awareness week – Flood types and timelines

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The Grand Rapids Weather Examiner presents the fifth in a series from the National Weather Service (NWS) on Flood Safety. The week of March 16-22 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week. From the National Weather Service here are some important terms and definitions which you will hear when it comes to flooding

A Flood is elevated water levels that pose a potential threat to life or property. The elevated water levels may come from a stream or otherwise dry areas. You need to be aware of a flood because you may need to protect yourself and property if necessary.

A Flash Flood is water that rises very rapidly and within approximately six hours after a causative event such as heavy rain, ice jams, dam breaks, etc. You need to respond very quickly to a flash flood to protect your life and property. Flash flooding is different from other kinds of flooding because the water associated with flash flooding rises much more rapidly than it does with other kinds of flooding. In addition, flash flooding occurs shortly after the causative event whereas other kinds of flooding occur several hours or more after the causative event.

A Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for flooding to occur.

A Flood Warning or Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is occurring or is imminent.

Minor flooding is when minimal or no property damage is expected to occur, but the flooding could possibly cause some public threat or inconvenience.

Moderate flooding is when some inundation of structures and roads near streams will occur. It will be necessary to evacuate people or transfer property to higher ground.

Major flooding is when extensive inundation of structures and roads will occur. It will be necessary to evacuate people or transfer property to higher ground.

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