While storms can be glorious to watch and generate a lot of excitement when they start to approach, they can also produce periods of rainfall that can accumulate so fast, that the water on the ground rises at a staggering rate. This weather phenomenon is known as flash flooding and is a threat to many parts of the country.
Even though most people know how to stay safe during flash floods, such as not allowing children to play in water streams and staying off the roadway, many have no idea that flash flooding can also be a threat to the environment and public health even after the rain has subsided. Take a look at some of the ways flash flooding can be an environmental and public safety threat and what you can do to help.
Flash flooding can lead to overflowing storm drains and more severe flooding.
The storm drains that you see lining curbs on city streets and in public parking lots serve the vital purpose of collecting excess rainwater during periods of heavy rain to prevent storm damage flooding. Unfortunately, when flash flooding occurs, sometimes these drains become blocked with branches, trash, and other debris, which prevents the storm drain from doing its job and further contributes to flooding problems in certain areas. If you see a storm drain blocked by debris during a flash flood, make sure you contact the local emergency services teams so they can clear the drain.
Flash flooding can lead to spilled sewage and contamination in some areas.
When sewer systems gets overrun with large volumes of water during a flash flood, these systems will sometimes overflow out into the streets of neighborhoods, public parks, and everywhere else. It is for this reason it is never a good idea to allow your kids to play in flood waters. You can help eliminate some of the tax on the sewer system during flash flooding by avoiding flushing your toilet, doing laundry, or showering until the floodwaters outside have dissipated. At times like this, every new flush into the sewer system can mean a greater chance of overflowing.
Flash flooding can interrupt the local wildlife's usual habitat.
If the flash flooding becomes too severe, you may start to see some forms of wildlife emerge from their usual hiding places and out into your yard or into the trees. If these animals do not find a way to a safe place during the storm, it can have a huge negative impact on the local wildlife numbers. While there may not be a lot that you can do to help, what you can do is contact your local Department of Fish and Wildlife if you do see animals struggling to get to safe grounds.