Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Little Rock, AR

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Little Rock AR
600 AM CST Tue Feb 28 2017

...Todays Topic for Severe Weather Awareness Week is Flash Floods...

The National Weather Service, in cooperation with the Arkansas
Department of Emergency Management, has proclaimed the week of
February 26th through March 4th as Severe Weather Awareness Week
in Arkansas.

A different topic will be discussed each day, and todays topic is
flash floods.

Flash flooding is usually caused by very slow-moving thunderstorms,
or thunderstorms that repeatedly move over the same areas.

Urban settings are especially prone to flash floods due to large
amounts of concrete and asphalt surfaces that do not allow water to
penetrate into the soil.

Places surrounded by steep, hilly terrain are also susceptible to
flash floods due to rapid runoff /water moving downhill at elevated
speeds/ into streams and creeks.

In the last 30 years, flash flooding was the deadliest thunderstorm
hazard, and caused more fatalities than tornadoes and lightning.
There are an average of 80 to 90 fatalities annually due to flash
floods across the country.

Roughly half of flash flood deaths occur when people try to drive
through flooded areas. Moving water two feet deep is sufficient to
carry away most vehicles, even pickup trucks and sport utility
vehicles.

In 2016, there was one such fatality on January 20th. A 20 year-old
male drove his all terrain vehicle into flood water near Newcastle
/St. Francis County/. Another fatality occurred along the Buffalo
River near Hasty /Newton County/ on June 12th. A 25 year-old woman
flipped her canoe, and was pinned against a root ball. Water levels
were on the rise after heavy rain in the area.

Locally, most of the major flash floods occur at night when the
danger is much more difficult to see. In 2010, the Little Missouri
River rose more than 20 feet during the predawn hours of June 11th.
This was after more than half a foot of rain. Campers at the Albert
Pike Recreation Area /Montgomery County/ were awakened to raging
water, and 20 people drowned.

...Flash Flood Safety Rules...

You should know which places in your area are prone to flooding, and
avoid these places in times of rising water.

Do not attempt to cross flowing streams while driving or on foot.

If flood waters are between you and your destination, the National
Weather Service wants you to remember a simple slogan: Turn Around -
Dont Drown.

Outdoor activities are very popular in Arkansas. If you enjoy camping
or similar recreation, be especially careful if you spend the night
near streams. A thunderstorm miles upstream from your location could
produce enough rain to cause flooding, even if it is not raining much
where you are.

Never allow children to play around high water, storm drains, and
culverts.

&&

Notes for the News Media...

There is a Tornado Drill scheduled in place of the weekly test
on NOAA Weather Radio at 10 am CST on March 1st. People are
encouraged to practice going to a place of safety when the
NOAA Weather Radio alarm is sounded. In the event of
threatening weather, the test will be postponed until the
next day at the same time.

For a list of all the tornadoes and other significant weather events
that occurred in 2016...

http://www.weather.gov/media/lzk/StormsOf2016.pdf

$$

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