Flood Watch, Warning, Emergency Definitions
Spring is here, and so is the rain. There are some years we don’t get a whole lot of rain, and then there are years we deal with intense storms known as microbursts.
A microburst is a localized thunderstorm that is accompanied by significant precipitation. In Wyoming, our soil and drainage systems are not designed to take on a lot of rain at one time, compared to other parts of the country. Because of this, flash flooding may occur. So it is important to understand what a flash flood watch, flash flood warning, and flash flood emergency is. With this knowledge, will better understand how to handle the situation. According to the National Weather Service, this is what they mean.
Flash Flood Watch: When conditions look favorable for flash flooding. A WATCH usually includes several counties. This is the time to start preparing for possible flooding. Consider where you would go if water began to rise.
Flash Flood Warning: When dangerous flash flooding is happening or will happen soon. A WARNING is a smaller, more specific area. It can be issued if the excessive heavy rain is going to cause failure to a dam or levee. You need to act quickly. Flash floods are an imminent threat to you and your family. You could have only seconds to move to higher ground.
Flash Flood Emergency: For the exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain is severe and is a threat to human life, and cause catastrophic damage. Emergency officials are reporting life-threatening water rises, requiring water rescues/evacuations.