Astronomy

Biology

Chemistry

Computer Science

Earth Science

Engineering

Math

Microbiology

Neuroscience

Optics

Physics

*****

Español

Sign-up for FTK Bulletin

Earth Science
  

Beware of Flash Floods

BOULDER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Flooding is one of the deadliest types of natural disasters humans face. Why? Most people underestimate the power of nature. Many drivers are willing to risk their lives on flooded roads, but now the government is trying to put a stop to that by getting the message across to "Turn around. Don't drown."

You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player. Click here to download and install it.

They can strike in just minutes, sweeping away cars in an instant. Flash floods are deadly, but remembering just a few words can save your life.

"Turn around. Don't drown."

It's the slogan the government is trying to get across in areas vulnerable to flash floods. Children learn it in school. Signs are posted in hot spots. But despite an extensive National Weather Service ad campaign, many drivers are still taking chances.

“I just kind of plow through it, just keep driving," driver Rachel Skolon told Ivanhoe. "It's kind of a habit I have learned.”

Each foot of water reduces a vehicle's weight by 1,500 pounds. Just two feet can wash a car completely off the road. More than 100 people die every year in floods -- many while attempting to drive through the high waters.

“A lot of people get into accidents," Sheldon Drobot, a meteorologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., told Ivanhoe. "This is especially the case with flooded roads, when you simply don’t know it’s there, and the next thing you know, you are in the middle of the road, it’s flooded, and the car is floating away. There is nothing much you can do at that point.”

Meteorologists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research say drivers don’t take their warnings seriously.

“What we are trying to do is to look at some of the characteristics of why people are driving into floods," Drobot said.

What they want drivers to know? Flash floods are powerful enough to destroy anything in their path. They can roll boulders, tear down trees and destroy buildings and bridges. Floodwaters can reach up to 20 feet.

The next time one strikes, remember, "Turn around. Don’t drown."

According to the National Weather Service, Central Texas is the state most often hit by flash floods in the United States. The state is also home to the most flood-related deaths every year -- averaging twice as many as the next nearest state, California.

The American Meteorological Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Sheldon Drobot
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Boulder, CO 80307
(303) 497-2705
drobot@ucar.edu

American Meteorological Society
Boston, MA 02108-3693
(617) 227-2425
http://www.ametsoc.org


This Month's TV Reports
Hot Helmet for Football Players

Each year an athlete dies on the field from overheating. Now a new helmet protects more than players heads…it could save their life.

 

Beware of Flash Floods

Flash floods kill more than a hundred people a year. Now there’s a new campaign to keep you safe -- “Turn around—Don’t Drown”.

 

Which Days will Storms Strike?

Should you plan your picnic on Wednesday or Saturday? Which day will the sun shine? Which day will it rain? Science breaks down which days of the week are the best to be outside.

 

Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs

You’ve heard of bomb sniffing dogs … now Fido can find bed bugs!

 

Stem Cells Save Animals

Stem cells research is just beginning in humans, and now horses and dogs are getting the benefit of this research as stem cells are being used to help ease their pain.

 

Giant Squid-Behind the Scenes

Get a first-hand look at a rare giant squid! We’ll show how science is working to preserve it forever.

 

Super Mileage Cars

Imagine a car getting 1,000 MPG! It’s happening! Take a ride in some of the most fuel efficient cars in the world.

 

Blood Test Predicts Stroke

Every 40 seconds someone in the US suffers a stroke. Now a new blood test is helping doctors diagnose people with hidden risks.

 

Catching Cataracts Early

A new device detects early stage cataracts…saving sight for millions.

 

Frying Foods without Oil

A french fry that’s not fried? A new oven is changing the way we cook fried foods…making them healthier for all of us!.

 

Science of Surfing

Surfing—it’s more than just fun in the sun! It’s now a college class that’s teaching students the science behind hangin’ 10.

 

Got (Video) Game

Turn your gaming hobby into a career. Meet two college kids who turned their passion into a money-maker.

 

Prior Reports
A joint production of Ivanhoe Broadcast News and the American Institute of Physics.
  Ivanhoe Broadcast News
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789
http://www.ivanhoe.com

American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 19740-3843
(301) 209-3100
http://www.aip.org/dbis
  P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802
scitech@ivanhoe.com
 
  © 2009 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.  
DBIS