Emergency Management




Flooding & Flood Risks


Flood Safety Awareness Week: March 16th-22nd, 2015


Flooding? Turn Around Don't Drown!

   Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to the United States and its territories in all months of the year. Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow onto the surrounding area. Flooding can also result from the failure of a water control structure, such as a levee or dam. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain and/or snowmelt that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.


   Inland and river flooding is a potential hazard in Hardee County especially if you live in low-lying areas. One of the most overlooked dangers residents face is flooding. Unless you reside near a body of water, most people don’t consider flooding a true danger. Flash floods are a rapid rise in water along a stream or low-lying urban area. They typically occur when slow moving thunderstorms or tropical storms dump large quantities of rain in a concentrated area.


Did you know that...


  • It takes as little as two (2) feet of water to float a vehicle (this includes trucks and SUV’s).
  • Water erodes the roadbed increasing the driving hazard.
  • Many flash floods occur at night making it harder to see the flooded road.
  • One-half (50%) of all tropical storm related deaths over the last 30 years are flood related.
  • Historically, floods are long-term events that can last days or weeks.


So, what can you do to avoid becoming a stastistic?   

Follow these tips on flood safety:


  • Never drive where water is over the road. The depth of the water can be misleading or even impossible to determine from inside your vehicle.
  • Never swim, play, or wade in floodwaters. There may be hidden dangers such as debris or contaminates in the water. In addition, the current could easily increase in speed with no warning.
  • If you come upon moving water that is deeper than your ankles, turn around and go back. Most people can be swept off their feet in as little as 6 inches of water.
  • If you are told to evacuate, do it immediately as conditions can worsen with little or no warning.
  • Never drive past a barricade or “Road Closed” sign. They are placed for your protection.


In addition, remember to stay out of flood-damaged areas until you are told it is safe to return. Your presence could hamper emergency crews or worse, you could become a victim yourself.

For more information on flood safety and what to do before, during, and after a flood, visit the National Weather Service (NWS) at:






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