What you need to know about flooding and staying safe

What you need to know about flooding and staying safe

Quick Facts

  • Remember when you see water on the roadway -- Turn Around, Don't Drown
  • 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV
  • 6 inches of water can knock an adult over

The FOX23 Severe Weather Team tells you not only about severe storm chances but also the flooding potential with each round of rain. Multiple rounds of rain moving through can sometimes cause a higher flooding risk.

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Different Types of Flood Alerts

The National Weather Service not only tracks the heavy rain, but it also forecasts for several rivers around Green Country. There are several different types of flooding alerts that are issued by the National Weather Service:

  • Flood Advisory
  • Flood Watch
  • Flood Warning
  • Flash Flood Warning
  • River Flooding

A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is expected but is not going to be bad enough to issue a warning. The flooding can cause an inconvenience and could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

A Flood Watch will be issued when conditions are favorable for flooding (similar to when a thunderstorm watch or tornado watch are issued -- conditions are favorable).

Different Flood Products
Different Flood Products

Flood Warnings are issued when flooding is either happening or imminent.

Flash Flood Warnings are issued when a flash flood (or floods that happen within 6 hours of the cause) is happening. Flash floods can take a few hours to develop or can develop within minutes.

River flooding happens when levels rise and overflow their banks. There are three categories for river flooding based on the water height and impacts:

  • Minor - areas right around the river/stream may see some problems
  • Moderate - levels rise high enough to impact homes/businesses near the river may need to evacuate; roads may be impacted
  • Major - extensive flooding is expected; major traffic routes may be flooded, numerous evacuations may be required

Before a Flood

In the days or hours leading up to an event that could cause some flooding, be sure you are aware of some flooding areas that could impact you, whether it is near your home or on your daily commute. Areas that are known for flooding in Tulsa can be found in the map below:

During a Flood

During a flood or potential flooding event, water levels can change very quickly along with the rate the water is flowing. Since things can change quickly, be sure that you are staying aware and alert but monitoring the conditions.

It is also key to follow any evacuation orders and avoid floodwaters. When a flood is happening, the water can be deeper than it seems on roadways and even in the creeks/rivers.

Courtesy: National Weather Service
Courtesy: National Weather Service

Some facts that can help you think about the flooding water:

  • 6 inches of flowing water can knock over an adult
  • 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV
  • 2 feet of water can carry away most vehicles

If you are unsure how the deep the water is, it is best to remember "Turn Around, Don't Drown". That includes driving through or walking through any water.

After a Flood

Once the floodwaters recede and the “all-clear” is given, there can be more problems left behind. Some of the problems can include power outages, debris and toxins/chemicals carried by the water.

The FOX23 Weather App is a great way to stay aware ahead of a flooding event and during flooding events. You can get alerts sent directly to your phone for your current location or for any location of your choosing. Details on the FOX23 Weather App can be found here: FOX23 Weather App details