Author: Mary Knapp

For the last day of Severe Weather Awareness week, the emphasis is on flood safety. In Kansas, most flood hazards come in two forms: general flooding, which is the steady rise of surface water sources such as lakes and rivers. The second form is flash flooding, the rapid rise of water. This second can be the most hazardous because the flooding can occur very rapidly, literally in minutes. Also, it can occur in areas where flooding is not a regular and expected hazard. Remember, depending upon the speed of the water as little as 6 inches can sweep you off your feet; 1 foot of water can produce 500 lbs. of lateral force; 2 feet can produce a buoyancy force of 1500 lbs. and later force of 1000 lbs. More than enough to float and wash away a car.

Figure 1. Verdigris River flooding Over Highway 160 just east of Independence, KS during July 2007 (photo taken by the USGS)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library