Flash Floods and Tornadoes in Indiana
Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods because they combine the destructive power of a flood with incredible speed.
Flash floods occur when heavy rainfall exceeds the ability of the ground to absorb it. They also occur when water normally fills dry creeks or streams, or enough water accumulates for streams to overtop their banks, causing rapid rises of water in a short amount of time. They can happen within minutes of the causative rainfall, limiting the time available to warn and protect the public.
Turn Around Don't Drown
People underestimate the force and power of water. This is when cars and trucks are swept downstream. Many of these tragedies are preventable. Never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road may have collapsed under that water. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars, and only 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into floodwaters.
Tornado Watch vs. Warning
WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY.
WATCH means conditions are favorable, and a tornado is possible.
A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust, and debris. Tornadoes can be among the most violent phenomena of all atmospheric storms we experience.
What To Do To Stay Safe
Tornadoes are violent, they can completely destroy well-made structures, uproot trees, and hurl objects through the air like missiles. Although severe tornadoes are most common in the Plains States, they can happen anywhere. Indiana had 39 reported tornadoes in 2019.
Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe. If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately. Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
If you are in a building with no basement, get to a small interior room on the lowest level. Always think to put the most amount of walls between you and the storm.
If your caught outside and a tornado is approaching, do not get under an overpass or bridge. You're safer in a low, flat location. Always watch out and try to protect yourself from flying debris that can cause injury by using your arms to protect your head and neck.