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NIE Blogging Zone

Times Newspaper in Education

Flooding

30

January

Turn Around, Don't Drown

30flood

     We’ve all seen those photos in the newspaper: After heavy rain, someone in a canoe or kayak paddles down what is usually the middle of a street. It may look like fun, but it is dangerous.
Flooding can happen in Florida and any of the other 49 states. Even relatively dry states such as Nevada and Arizona have serious floods from time to time. In Florida, flooding occurs frequently, but often the floods are minor. Nonetheless, Floridians must be careful because even minor floods can take a life. Once in a while, Florida can experience major floods that can cause many deaths and loss of property. We must be prepared.

     Many people die from freshwater flooding because they try to drive through water that covers roads. Moving water only as deep as a car’s hubcaps can be enough to move the car, possibly into a river or a stream. Remember, when you approach water covering a roadway, turn around... don’t drown! Did you know that just 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet and 2 feet of water can sweep an SUV off a road? Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles, as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

     Floods can happen in most of the places where people live. Look in the St. Petersburg Times and on the archives at Tampabay.com to find information about when and where the risks of flooding are high. How did the weather create those conditions? How quickly did the water level rise? Did people prepare for the possibility in some way? Was there any property damage or loss of life? Who is responsible for monitoring and predicting these conditions in your area? Share the information you find and your thoughts here at the NIE Blogging Zone.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 12:17pm]

    

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