Reason for Flooding

Lands saturated by heavy rain that pour large amounts of water into drainage ravines and hollows, is the force behind the creeks and rivers that flood low lying areas near creek banks.  Snows that melt too quickly, due to excessively warm spring days are often the cause of flooding. Mountains devoid of trees and other foliage that suck up ground water, as well as holding in the soil, thus preventing soil erosion, is another contributory cause of flooding.

Water drains from high to low, from small rivulets into ponds and into hollows and then into nearby creeks that flow into larger drainage system such as small rivers then flowing into larger rivers and then into oceans. The destination of all drainage system is the ocean, but in-between the mountain tops and wheat fields, the meandering rivers that meet and divide and flow onward, much flooding often happens. Remember a few backs when he mighty Mississippi over run its banks and  took back land once belonging to it. Events such as these happen infrequently, maybe once in several hundred years.

The flow from some many different chemically laden lands is what gives the oceans their saltiness. The oceans are a contained system where outflow never happens. The saltier the lands with drainage systems that flow into the ocean, the saltier the ocean.

When studying floods, scientific terminology often is heard. Words such as hydrological systems, water cycles, watershed and other weather related terms, describes he easy to understand flood.  Yet, there isn’t much unknown about floods and how they come about. But  knowing precisely how to deal with them once they occur, is important.

Hydrological systems, simply told, are water systems whether dealing with urban, rural, or mountainous regions, and whether the systems being discussed are natural systems or man-made systems. Natural systems deal with the pitch of the land, mountains and valleys, the thickness of forests and their ability to cope with the uptake of the rainfall before it drains into streams and other downward ditches. Water cycles is knowing  how high the water probably will be at various time of the year. Watersheds are areas around rivers that shed their excessive rainfall into the nearby river. Too much shedding adds up to an overflow.

Man-made hydrological systems are those controlled by people. Urban areas are subject to flooding during heavy rains if their sewer systems are clogged or are too inefficient to manage heavy downpours. This results in street flooding and basement flooding in some areas, especially those in older areas where plumbing is inadequate to meet the excessive water accumulations.

Geographical areas have their own special flood control measures, or should. Houses should never be built too close to creeks or river that normally floods. This is asking for trouble.  In winter when the waterways freeze over there is not much chance of flooding, but thawing can cause backup of rivers and resultant flooding of nearby low lying areas.

From the very beginning of the raindrop, and up to the overflow,  how do floods begin? A cloud must be supersaturated with water and then it overflows. When more water falls to the earth than it can adequately handle, too much water too quickly does not  permit the soil to absorb it, accumulative effects of days of constant rain, clogged river beds made shallow by debris, then the larger drainage systems overflow, is the cause of flooding.

Most predictable flooding happens after days of intense rain, but flash floods that develop only after a horrendous downpour, can now be predicted by meteorologists. Using their knowledge and their ability to predict the weather more accurately meteorologist now warn of possible danger.

Flooding is not totally manageable, but flood walls, dams  and other scientifically control methods have managed to lessen their damage. Floods have been challenging the ingenuity, adaptability, and lifestyles of people since the beginning of time. The best way of dealing with them is to put in place a plan of escape, or some other coping mechanism before them happen. And most important of all, be forewarned about not driving through flooded streets and roads.