National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Flood Safety Awareness Week
 
March 15 - 19, 2021

 

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).

 

Links of Interest
Official Arkansas Flood Awareness Week Proclamation
Spring Flood Outlook (shows greater than a 50% chance of minor to moderate flooding along several tributaries including portions of the Black, Cache, Ouachita, and lower White Rivers)

 

Water becomes deadly when flooding/flash 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 2020), there were 67 flood fatalities in Arkansas. This was the third most across the country during this time frame. Many of these deaths (41 lives lost) occurred in 2010 and 2011.

 

In 2020, while there was a lot of rain (a statewide average of just over 63 inches/13 to 14 inches above average) and flooding in Arkansas, there were no flood/flash flood related deaths.

 

Number of Flood/Flash Flood Fatalities (2010-2020)
State Deaths
Texas 227
Missouri 68
Arkansas 67
North Carolina 59
Oklahoma 58
Kentucky 56

 

In the video: Flooding was extensive in Gurdon (Clark County) following excessive rain early on 07/16/2019. The rain was produced by the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry. Numerous vehicles drove through high water, and several motorists had to be rescued. The video is courtesy of Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

Nationwide, statistics show that more than 50% of flood/flash flood related deaths occur in automobiles. The next highest percentage of high water drownings are people walking into flooded areas (usually near swift current where they can be swept away). 

 

Turn Around Don't Drown! 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.

 

Link of Interest
Turn Around Don't DrownTM

 

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. 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.
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.

 

 

Flood Safety Awareness Week, 2021 Slides
These are the topics covered during Flood Safety Weather Awareness Week, 2021.
Flood Safety  |  Turn Around Don't DrownTM  |  Flood Hazards
National Weather Service Water Resources  |  Partner Resources
In the pictures: These are the topics covered during Flood Safety Weather Awareness Week, 2021.

 

Useful Information Sent During Flood Awareness Week, 2021
 
Flood Safety - Preparedness and Awareness (Monday, March 15th at 6 am CDT)
Turn Around Don't DrownTM (TADD) (Tuesday, March 16th at 6 am CDT)
Flood Hazards (Wednesday, March 17th at 6 am CDT)
National Weather Service Water Resources (Thursday, March 18th at 6 am CDT)
Partner Resources (Friday, March 19th 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.