The terrible flooding in parts of the USA from New York to New Orleans has shown that flash floods can happen anywhere and at any time.
Photos and videos from these two great cities show the horrendous power of water from cascades into subways to how it flows straight into homes and businesses.
Many people are now accepting that climate change is here to stay and we are seeing the start of regular major weather events – the kind that never used to happen or occurred one in 100 years.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory in the USA: “Flooding occurs in every US state and territory and is a threat experienced anywhere in the world that receives rain. In the US floods kill more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning.”
The hardest hit areas can be town and city centres – places with few green spaces where the earth can absorb some of the floodwater. In paved areas the floodwater has few places to go once sewers are overwhelmed which often happens during flash flooding.
Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person off their feet while 12 inches will move smaller vehicles.
Red Cross spokeswoman Jenelle Eli said: “There’s no time like the present to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies, including flash floods.”
Many authorities in the US do offer free sandbags but it takes a lot of time to go and pick them up, they are heavy to load and difficult to store and deploy. Often just a pile of sand and separate bags are provided so you have to do your own.
When flooding strikes it’s instantaneous and you’ve very little time to react which is why hundreds of thousands of Americans now rely on FloodSax® alternative sandbags which are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.
Before they are activated FloodSax® – also known as flood sacks - resemble pillowcases and are incredibly lightweight, amazingly weighing just a few ounces yet once expanded a row of standard 500mm by 450mm by 200mm FloodSax® are strong enough to stop a powerful torrent of water in its tracks. Each row of FloodSax® will keep around 20cms (8ins) of water out and have proved themselves as flood barriers time and again worldwide.
In their dry state FloodSax® are ideal to soak up floods and leaks inside homes and businesses. They are large and flat so can be slipped under the hardest-to-reach places such as beneath floorboards, under boilers or in cupboards to absorb water which would otherwise cause serious damage.
What is flash flooding?
Flash flooding has the potential to happen anywhere and at any time which gives homeowners and businesses very little time to react.
Sudden torrential rain which people sometimes refer to as a cloudburst can drop thousands of tonnes of water on an area in just minutes and, basically, the ground it lands on simply can’t cope with that huge amount of water suddenly descending on it.
Flash flooding – which can often happen during thunderstorms - is often caused when ground is bone hard dry or, ironically, already saturated with rain. Add in the possibility that drains and gulleys have not been cleared out and you’ve a recipe for a flooding disaster. They often hit quite small areas so are impossible to predict but the consequences can be devastating.
Although officially defined as floods that can happen within six hours of heavy rain, flash floods often happen within minutes of a torrential downpour giving people very little time to react to get flood defences in place to save them from the catastrophic consequences of flooding.
For more information on FloodSax® and where to buy them in the USA go to https://floodsaxus.com/