Flash flooding is the number one storm killer

Flash flooding is the number one storm killer

Tornadoes, hail and damaging wind gusts sometimes are not the main concerns when thunderstorms rumble through the ArkLaTex.

It's flooding.

On average, flooding causes 82 deaths a year. Only heat causes more deaths annually.

About 75 percent of deaths associated with flash flooding come from cars filling up with water and people being unable to escape, said Michael Berry, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Shreveport,

Remember the phrase "Turn Around, Don't Drown."

It takes 6 inches of rapidly flowing water to knock an adult off their feet and 2 feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles.

You never should drive through flooded roadways.

"You should not drive through barricades," Berry said. "I know it's difficult sometimes. Drivers want to get to their destination and not take an alternate route because it can be time-consuming. But those barricades are up for a reason."

Flooded roadways can be more difficult to see at night.

Overall, you should be careful in urban areas.

"Urban areas are very prone to flash flooding because there is so much concrete," Berry said. "A lot of times, your drains and stuff are not able to handle that much water that quickly."

He went on to say that new development in flood-prone areas is one of the reasons flooding was so bad last year.

"People building inside levees when they should have built on the outside," Berry said.

"Lakes and rivers are popular areas to build your house. But you have to keep in mind, those are the first things to go up when we have excessive rainfall."

Berry also recommends adding a floatation device to your severe weather kit, especially if you live in a flood-prone area.

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