National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Flood Safety Awareness Week
 
March 28 - April 1, 2022

 

Weather fatalities (based on a 30 year average from 1991 to 2020) 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 a 30 year average from 1991 to 2020) 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, 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 2021), there were 68 flood fatalities in Arkansas. This was tied for the third most across the country during this time frame. Many of these deaths (41 lives lost) occurred in 2010 and 2011.

 

In 2021, the deadliest flood in the country occurred just to the east of Arkansas. On August 21st, a state record 17.06 inches of rain dumped at McEwen, TN (in a twenty four hour period ending during the morning). To the west of town in nearby Waverly, TN, a wall of water moved along Trace Creek and made it appear that a large tornado pummeled the community. Video showed the event unfolding quickly, and there was not enough time to prepare. Tragically, twenty people lost their lives.

 

Number of Flood/Flash Flood Fatalities (2010-2021)
State Deaths
Texas 230
Tennessee 71
Arkansas 68
Missouri 68
North Carolina 66
Kentucky 62

 

In the video: Flooding was extensive at Dumas (Desha County) on 06/08/2021. A whopping 19.22 inches of rain fell in a two day period locally. An economist with the Arkansas Agriculture Experiment Station estimated this event cost farmers in southeast sections of the state at least $200 million in losses ($70 million each in soybeans and rice, and $60 million in corn). 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, 2022 Slides
These are the topics covered during Flood Safety Weather Awareness Week, 2022.
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, 2022.

 

Useful Information Sent During Flood Awareness Week, 2022
 
Flood Safety - Preparedness and Awareness (Monday, March 28th at 6 am CDT)
Turn Around Don't DrownTM (TADD) (Tuesday, March 29th at 6 am CDT)
Flood Hazards (Wednesday, March 30th at 6 am CDT)
National Weather Service Water Resources (Thursday, March 31st at 6 am CDT)
Partner Resources (Friday, April 1st 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.