Floods happen slowly, usually with lots of warning. Spring thaws and heavy rainfall from tropical storms and hurricanes are the usually the culprits. National and local news stations closely watch the progress of major storms, predicting possible ways through modeling.
The models help inform us of potential danger when a path is in line with a city or town. Everyone has a TV or smartphone and will apprehend when a flood is coming and be ready to prepare.
As much as some floods can be predictable and detoured via sandbags, they can also turn wild, especially in urban environments that aren’t ready to handle or haven’t experienced serious flooding in the past. The gulf coast, the New York/New Jersey region and, last, the Carolinas are a few unhappy examples of areas caught off guard by the extreme winds and rains that bring devastating floods. Floods turn violent and quick when dams and levees fail or an ice-jammed river suddenly dislodges. That’s when water can rise quickly without warning. These flash floods are the most dangerous since they’re less predictable.
Floods knock out power, contaminate water supplies and make roads impassable. These high water levels are also typically slow to leave. High water can linger for days …