National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Flood Safety Awareness Week
 
March 16 - 20, 2020

 

Weather fatalities (based on 30 year averages) in the United States (courtesy of NOAA).
Many of us fear tornadoes and lightning, but what about water? It seems harmless since we drink water...swim and bathe in it. So why does water kill 80 to 90 people (30 year average) annually in this country? Because the power of water is underestimated.
In the picture: Weather fatalities (based on 30 year averages) in the United States (courtesy of NOAA).

 

 

Water becomes deadly when flash flooding and flooding occur (during or shortly following a heavy rain event). Flood/Flash Flood Timeline: Flash flooding (along streets and small streams/creeks) occurs within 6 hours with flooding (along rivers) taking longer than 6 hours to unfold.

 

Some definitions...

Flash Flood: Usually occurs within 6 hours. The rate of rainfall exceeds the rate of runoff (rain falls faster than it can be carried away). Because water has nowhere to go, it covers roads and fills small streams and creeks.

Flood: Usually takes longer than 6 hours to unfold and can last for several days. Water from a flash flood event (or long-term heavy rain event) eventually makes its way into rivers...with excess water flowing into nearby towns, fields, etc.

 

Flood Fatalities in Arkansas
Since 2010 (through 2019), there were 68 flood fatalities in Arkansas. This was the second most across the country during this time frame. Many of these deaths (40 lives lost) occurred in 2010 and 2011.

 

In 2019, there were four (4) flood/flash flood related deaths in Arkansas...

Elgin (Jackson County), February 22, 630 PM - A 76-year-old man drove through high water along Highway 37 along the Black River. He went around at least four barricades to attempt to make a delivery in Batesville (Independence County). His body was discovered the next morning.

Fort Chaffee (Sebastian County), May 28, 600 PM - A 64-year-old man drove through high water along Highway 22 not far from the Arkansas River. His body was discovered near the vehicle he was driving, which was submerged in water.

Greenwood (Sebastian County), June 23, 745 PM - The vehicle of a 62-year-old man flipped off of a bridge along Highway 10 and went into a swollen creek.

Fort Smith (Sebastian County), August 24, 600 AM - A 47-year-old woman was delivering newspapers when high water swept her vehicle off of Kinkead Avenue.

 

Number of Flood/Flash Flood Fatalities (2010-2019)
State Deaths
Texas 224
Arkansas 68
Missouri 64
Oklahoma 56
Kentucky 48
North Carolina 48

 

 A car was washed off the road in southwest Scott County (western Arkansas) and was swept downstream (i.e. along Haws Creek) on 05/27/2002. Nationwide, statistics show that more than 50% of flood/flash flood related deaths occur in automobiles.
In the picture: A car was washed off the road in southwest Scott County (western Arkansas) and was swept downstream (i.e. along Haws Creek) on 05/27/2002. The woman driving the car exited the vehicle (to try to get help) and drowned.

 

If flood waters are between you and your destination, the National Weather Service wants you to remember a simple slogan: "Turn Around Don't Drown" TM. Turn Around Don't Drown!

 

Link of Interest
Turn Around Don't DrownTM

 

Six to eight inches of rain rain caused the Little Missouri River to climb 20 feet in a just a few hours at the Albert Pike Recreation Area (Montgomery County) during the early morning hours of 06/11/2010. This page was designed to increase public awareness about high water and its dangers. Education is the key to understanding high water and to avoid becoming a statistic.
In the picture: Six to eight inches of rain rain caused the Little Missouri River to climb 20 feet in a just a few hours at the Albert Pike Recreation Area (Montgomery County) during the early morning hours of 06/11/2010. Twenty people drowned, making this the deadliest flood event in Arkansas recorded history. Click to enlarge.

 

 

Useful Information Sent During Flood Awareness Week, 2020
 
Flood Safety - Preparedness and Awareness (Monday, March 16th at 6 am CDT)
Turn Around Don't DrownTM (TADD) (Tuesday, March 17th at 6 am CDT)
Flood Hazards (Wednesday, March 18th at 6 am CDT)
National Weather Service Water Resources (Thursday, March 19th at 6 am CDT)
Partner Resources (Friday, March 20th at 6 am CDT)

 

Flood Safety Banner For more on flood safety... there is a very useful website available. To go to the website, click here.