KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — This week is Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week and today we are talking about the topic of flooding. Now flooding is one of the most dangerous weather phenomena and I want to give you some facts about flooding. Actually an average of 86 deaths per year in the US are due to flooding. Now in addition to that, most of these deaths actually happen because people are in vehicles. More than 60% of flood related deaths involve these vehicles and they are very significant.

You never want to drive through flooded roadways, we say that all the time. But we do wanna give you some details about the difference between a Flash Flood Watch and Flash Flood Warning because in flooding events both of these can get sometimes get issued and sometimes people misunderstand exactly what they mean. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for flooding. If your area gets put under a Flash Flood Watch, this is the time when you should start preparing and thinking about what you’re going to do in case your area does get flooded. If a Flash Flood Warning gets issued for your area, that means there isn’t really any more time to prepare because the flooding is imminent or already occurring. That is when you need to take action and by taking action that is when you really need to start seeking higher ground and you need to plan to not be outdoors in your car.

We want to go over some of the flooding safety tips. One of the biggest things we say of course is turn around don’t drown.  If you see standing water, it can be very difficult to discern just how high that water is and that’s why we always tell people to turn around. It is not worth the risk of going through that flooded water because just six inches of water can carry a person away whereas 12 inches of water can float most cars and SUVs. Flooding is something that East Tennessee sees quite often. We had some very significant flooding in Knoxville back in 2019. Again, we want to keep you updated on these flooding safety tips. We’ve got more details on our website.