Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other weather related hazard. Many of these deaths are related to vehicles driving through floodwaters or people walking closely to or in the actual flood. People underestimate the force and power of water.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods as they combine the destructive power of a flood with incredible speed and unpredictability. Flash flooding by definition is “rapidly rising and MOVING water”. The force of moving water frequently damages roadbeds, sometimes to the point of collapse. So many unnecessary vehicular flood related deaths occur as a result of motorists driving across flooded roads.
Preliminary records for 2016 indicate there were at least 126 flood related deaths in the United States (NWS). The NWS noted, the majority of these deaths involved driving into flood waters. Ohio’s cities and immediate suburbs are highly vulnerable to flash flooding. In 2012, there were two reported vehicular flood fatalities in Ohio.
This flood awareness campaign will help remind citizens about the dangers of flooding and increase community resilience through educational efforts. This campaign includes a social media outreach week (June 26 – July 1) and a series of outreach events in counties that have experienced recent flood events. The dates of these outreach events is listed in the adjacent column.