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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Flood Impacts

Minor Flooding

There may be minimal or no property damage, possibly some threat to safety or inconvenience. Transportation and travel in certain areas may be affected.

Moderate Flooding

Some structures may become partially submerged or inundated and roads near streams or with inadequate/blocked drainage may become impassable. Persons in low-lying areas prone to flooding may have to evacuate or transfer valuables to higher ground.

Major Flooding

During major flooding, extensive inundation of structures and roads occurs. Most roads may become completely impassable. Landslides may affect certain areas, and significant evacuation of people and/or transfer of property to higher ground tends to occur. Major flooding, especially in areas which lack preparation, can eventuate in death and extensive property damage.  

The Effects of Floods

Floods are perhaps the most common of all natural hazards, particularly since its effects are often aggravated by human activity.

Like all disasters, floods can cause significant inconvenience and trauma to those experiencing it. Below is a short list outlining the most significant effects of flooding:

  • Flooding interferes and disrupts economic and social activities. This can lead to significant loss of personal and national revenue, as businesses are unable to function for days or weeks and sometimes longer.
     
  • By damaging or destroying roads, buildings and other infrastructure. Millions are often spent in completing repairs. With transportation and travel interrupted (for months, if roads are badly destroyed), work and social activities also suffer. Getting relief to persons is also difficult as they become hard to reach. Even when air support (helicopters/small planes) is used there are few places for landings.
     
  • Cause death by drowning, exposure to contaminated water or electrocution.
     
  • People can be left homeless or stranded
     
  • With crops and livestock being destroyed, this can lead to a shortage in food supply, which can lead to famine.
     
  • Diseases can also spread very quickly when water supplies and food gets contaminated. Stagnant water is also the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying diseases.
     
  • Tourism is also set back as persons planning holidays tend to shy away from countries or areas experiencing bad weather conditions or hazards of any kind.
 

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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.