9 Surprising Flood Facts


floods are the no. 1 cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. on average from 1994-2013

It only takes a mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water to knock an adult off of his or her feet.

It takes only 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, and only 2 feet to carry away most other vehicles (including SUVs and pickups).

Flash floods can trigger a wall of water (a sudden swell within a stream, creek or river bed that moves rapidly downstream) of up to 10 to 20 feet high!

While the Eastern U.S. has hurricanes and severe thunderstorms to blame for the majority of its flooding, snowmelt and rainstorms are the main suspects of flooding in the West.

Storm surge, which is a type of flooding linked to tropical cyclones, is the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths

Flooding is the only natural hazard for which the federal government provides insurance -- the National Flood Insurance Program sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

90% of all U.S. natural disasters declared by the President involve some sort of flooding.

Even after flood waters have receded, hazards still remain and can include: Weakened road surfaces, Contaminated water, Gas leaks and "live" power lines.