Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OHIO
900 AM EDT WED MAR 19 2014

FLOOD SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK 2014 IS MARCH 16TH THROUGH MARCH 22ND.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL FEATURE A DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL
TOPIC EACH DAY DURING SAFETY WEEK. TODAY`S TOPIC IS FLOOD HAZARDS.

A SIMPLE DEFINITION OF FLOODING IS WATER WHERE IT IS NOT WANTED.
ANOTHER...MORE COMPREHENSIVE DEFINITION OF A FLOOD USED BY THE THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IS ANY HIGH FLOW...OVERFLOW...OR INUNDATION
OF WATER THAT CAUSES OR THREATENS DAMAGE.

FLASH FLOODING IS A RAPID AND EXTREME FLOW OF HIGH WATER INTO A
NORMALLY DRY AREA...OR A RAPID WATER LEVEL RISE IN A STREAM OR CREEK.

RIVER FLOODING OCCURS WHEN A RIVER RISES AND OVERFLOWS THEIR
BANKS...INUNDATING AREAS THAT ARE NORMALLY DRY. SOME RIVERS HAVE A
SLOW ONSET AND MAY STAY FLOODED FOR SEVERAL DAYS. FLOODS IN THESE
AREAS CAN LEAD TO MAJOR LOSSES OF LIVESTOCK AND DAMAGE TO CROPS...AS
WELL AS EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO RURAL TOWNS AND ROADS. QUICK ONSET RIVER
FLOODS CAN POTENTIALLY POSE A GREATER RISK TO LOSS OF LIFE AND
PROPERTY BECAUSE THERE IS GENERALLY MUCH LESS TIME TO TAKE
PREVENTATIVE ACTION...AND THE FLOW OF WATER IS FASTER AND MORE
DANGEROUS.

BURN SCARS LEFT BEHIND A WILDFIRE POSE A HEIGHTENED RISK TO FLOODING
AS THE GROUND TENDS TO REPEL WATER. WHEN RAIN FALLS...IT RUNS OFF A
BURN SCAR TOWARDS A LOW LYING AREA SOMETIMES CARRYING BRANCHES AND
OTHER DEBRIS ALONG WITH IT.

FLOODING DUE TO SNOWMELT MOST OFTEN OCCURS IN THE SPRING WHEN
WARMING TEMPERATURES QUICKLY MELT THE SNOW. THE WATER RUNS OFF THE
STILL PARTIALLY FROZEN OR ALREADY SATURATED GROUND INTO NEARBY
STREAMS AND RIVERS...CAUSING THEM TO RAPIDLY RISE AND SOMETIMES
OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS.

ICE JAMS...WHICH ARE CURRENTLY WIDESPREAD ACROSS AREA RIVERS...CAN
CAUSE A RIVER OR STREAM TO BACK UP RAPIDLY. ICE JAMS CAN PERSIST FOR
DAYS TO WEEKS AND CAN CAUSE REOCCURRING FLOODING AS THE RIVER RISES
AND FALLS. ICE JAMS CAN BE MORE EXTREME ALONG LAKE ERIE RIVERS WHEN
THE FROZEN LAKE COVER BLOCKS THE ICE FLOES.

A DAM BREAK OR LEVEE FAILURE CAN OCCUR WITH LITTLE TO NO WARNING.
MOST OFTEN THEY ARE CAUSED BY WATER OVERTOPPING THE
STRUCTURE...EXCESSIVE SEEPAGE THROUGH THE SURROUNDING GROUND...OR A
STRUCTURAL FAILURE.

UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT FLOOD HAZARDS AND KNOWING THE ACTIONS TO
TAKE BEFORE...DURING...AND AFTERWARDS CAN HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR
LIFE...THE LIVES OF YOUR LOVED ONES...AND YOUR PROPERTY.

$$





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