NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Of all the types of weather that takes the lives of people, flash flooding ranks as the number one storm-related killer, and ranks second in overall weather fatalities after heat-related deaths.

Flash floods are fueled by thunderstorms that move over the same area multiple times. This is caused “training of storms”, moving over and area constantly like a train travels over the same tracks. Using the term “flash”, this happens in a small window of time of less then 6 hours.

In this short period of time, susceptible areas near streams, rivers, storm drains, culverts become swollen and cannot hold any more water.

Never drive through that is covering a roadway. Image courtesy: National Weather Service

So you’ve heard the phrase: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN. Why do we say this? Because just six inches of fast-moving water can knock a person over, and 12 inches of water can away a small car!

Two of the biggest flash flooding events in Middle Tennessee were the Nashville Flood of May 2010. Most recently, the Waverly flood of August 2021 was very extensive. That heavier rainfall fell in McEwen where 17 inches of rain fell, but the water traveled downstream through Trace Creek, sending flooding waters into Waverly.

It’s always good to know your surroundings that are low-lying or have streams of water nearby, because those will flood first. When flash flooding occurs, seek higher ground.

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