The Wednesday weather topic during Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness week is an event our area is all to familiar with: flooding. Two of the past three years we've experienced this type of weather locally.

Nationally, floods claim nearly 200 lives each year and force 300,000 people from their homes.

Floods have been the No. 1 cause of weather related deaths in the United States since 1994. Fifteen Minnesotans have died during that time frame.

About 75 percent of flash flood deaths occur at night and half of the victims die in automobiles or other vehicles. Many drive around barricades that clearly indicate the road is washed out ahead.

Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet and 12 inches can stall or float a car away.

Check out this National Weather Service PSA on flood safety:

A flash flood watch means conditions are favorable for a flash flood watch to occur and you should be ready to head to higher ground in the event of a warning being issued.

Here is what the National Weather Service lists as items to have in a disaster kit in the event of any disaster:

  • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries. Be sure to tune to KDHL 920AM or Power 96 radio, 95.9FM, for latest weather information.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Essential and prescription medications
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Extra clothes and bedding
  • Food supplies for pets

By the way, a 100-year flood does not mean such a flood occurs once every 100 years. Instead it means there is a 1 in 100 chance of such a flood occurring in a given year.

Dangers remain even after the flood waters recede. There could be contaminated water, weakened road surfaces and gas leaks and live downed power lines.

Gordy Kosfeld / Townsquare Media