For the past several years, Texas has been under a record drought. The drought has been so severe, that it is easy to forget how flood-prone many areas of the state are. Recently, parts of the state experienced heavy rainfall which, while greatly needed, resulted in flooding. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard.

For the past several years, Texas has been under a record drought. The drought has been so severe, that it is easy to forget how flood-prone many areas of the state are. Recently, parts of the state experienced heavy rainfall which, while greatly needed, resulted in flooding. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard.


According to the National Weather Service, over half of all flood-related deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The second greatest cause of drowning during a flood are the result of a person walking into or near flood waters. People frequently underestimate the depth and force of flood water or do not heed warnings that a road is flooded. Only six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult, and two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including pickups and SUVs.


In order to make the public aware of the dangers associated with driving during flood conditions, the NWS in conjunction with state and local governments, developed the "Turn Around, Don’t Drown" public service announcements. These safety rules are listed on the NWS website: Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, or other news source for vital weather related information. If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots and canyons. Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Never drive through flooded roadways. Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.


For more information on flood safety, visit the NWS website at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/water/tadd/tadd-intro.shtml.