Severe weather dangers: flooding - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Severe weather dangers: flooding


MADISON (WKOW) -- 1,064 of you answered our online quiz which asked, "What is the number one severe weather-related killer in the United States?"

40 percent of you said tornadoes, 30 percent picked lightning, 24 percent chose flooding and only 6 percent of you went with hurricanes. The correct answer? Flooding.

Flooding can affect more people in a larger area than any other weather phenomenon and the National Weather Service tells us they've seen an increase in the last few decades of more extreme rainfall events.

Flash flooding is the most dangerous, often occurring with little or no warning. The fast-moving water can move boulders, homes and cars, tear out trees and completely wash out existing roads, like the 300-foot stretch of highway A near the Wisconsin Dells in June 2008.

Over half of the people that die from flash floods are found behind the wheel of a vehicle, trying to drive across a flooded roadway.

Rusty Kapela of the National Weather Service tells us "if you really think about it, you don't know how deep the water is, you don't know how fast the water is flowing, and furthermore you don't know if the road has been washed out underneath the water because you can't see the road."

The National Weather Service has a slogan: turn around, don't drown. And remembering that can save your life.

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