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The dangers of flash flooding

Flooded streets around Richmond are becoming all too familiar in our area when we get heavy rain events.
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 4:32 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2022 at 7:26 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Flooded streets around Richmond are becoming all too familiar in our area when we get heavy rain events.

“The National Climate Assessment published back in 2018 estimates that the intensity of our rainiest events has increased by about 30% in the last century or so. So, 30% more rain falling in our rainiest events sets up for those kinds of conditions that overwhelm our infrastructure,” said Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, a scientist with the Science Museum of Virginia.

Flash flooding occurs suddenly and usually within hours of excessive heavy rain.

“What we saw in September was three and a half inches in about an hour. So, thinking about just the amount of water in a shorter amount of time for that particular event gives you a pretty good idea of the conditions that are necessary to produce the damaging and really potentially hazardous conditions for flooding in our city,” Hoffman said.

Flash Flooding is possible anywhere and, as its name suggests, can occur in a flash - catching people off guard.

The First Alert Weather Team says it all the time: If you come up to an underwater road, “turn around, don’t drown.”

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than any other thunderstorm related hazard.

“Some investigations from the mid-Atlantic regional science assessment, which is for the Chesapeake Bay region and Virginia, specifically estimates that the rainiest events could get 5-35% more intense by the end of this century,” Hoffman said.

Don’t underestimate the power of water. As we approach the spring and summer months, be alert and stay safe.

Get the NBC12 First Alert Weather App, here.

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