FLOOD - A flood is an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of streams or rivers which may result in overflowing. Floods in the Caribbean can often be caused by heavy rainfall, dam or levee failures, tsunamis, storm surges or burst water mains.
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Know What is a Flood

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What is a flood?

A flood is an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of streams or rivers which may result in overflowing. When an area which is normally dry land becomes partially or completely submerged due to rise in water level, flooding has also occurred. Floods in the Caribbean can often be caused by heavy rainfall, dam or levee failures, tsunamis, unusually high tides, storm surges or burst water mains.
Flooding is the most common natural hazard and it can occur in different ways. Take a look below to find out more about the different types of flooding.

Flood Types

Flash Floods

Flash flooding is a type of flooding which occurs suddenly and can even develop within a few minutes. This type of flooding can result from earthquakes and tidal waves, or heavy rainfall from hurricanes, or storms. Since they occur in a swift and unexpected manner, they are difficult if not impossible to forecast, and as such, there is often little warning or preparation time. These types of floods can carry highly destructive flood waves carrying rocks, mud and other debris which can sweep away almost anything in its course. These types of floods are most common in mountainous areas or steep places.
 

Riverine Floods

Riverine floods occur when heavy rains fill river systems that have tributaries that drain large areas containing many independent river basins. These types of floods may continue for several hours, or even days, depending on the amount, intensity and the distribution of the rainfall. The amount of flooding tends to be determined by the amount of rain, the time taken for rainfall to accumulate, porosity and previous saturation of soils, and the general terrain around the river system.
 

Land Based Floods

This is likely to occur when an area is affected by prolonged or heavy rainfall. This, together with other factors like porosity of soil, the shape and size of the river basin, siltation, insufficient drainage systems, the presence of obstacles in drainage ways, unregulated deforestation of upland areas, the angle of slopes and the general terrain may affect the intensity of land based flooding.
 

Coastal Floods

This occurs when sea water rises above normal tidal levels and overflows onto surrounding areas. This type of flooding is mainly caused by unusually high tides, heavy rains brought by hurricanes, storm surge or long waves produced by earthquakes out to sea.
 

Ponding

This is a slow build up of water in depressions, sinks, and areas with clay base soil and slow water absorption rates. Flooding of this type is prolonged due to poor drainage.

 

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12 inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
In cases of severe flooding, water can take weeks to subside.
Large volumes of water can cause roadbeds to collapse.
Deforestation can cause flooding.
Flooding is the most common natural hazard.
Flash-flooding can occur within minutes.
Dams and levees are built to prevent flooding.
Flooding can cause millions of dollars in damage.
6 inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet.
Oil, and other chemicals carried in floodwaters can ruin crops and be hazardous to your health
When soil gets saturated with water, landslides may occur
More people die from drowning in fresh water floods during a hurricane or storm, than from any other cause.