Floods are becoming an increasing part of modern life thanks to changing weather patterns, an increase in modern development and an ageing drainage infrastructure. Not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, whilst others, like flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. On top of this, floods can be local, impacting a neighbourhood or community, or very large in the case of tidal and river basin floods.
Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall and often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event, typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater. Floods can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry flood water away from urban areas.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas or near water. Even very small streams, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.