Introduction Types of Flooding Daily Topics Flood Statistics Related Links
Flood Safety Awareness 


National Weather Service offices throughout the United States are conducting a Flood Awareness Week from March 16th through 22nd, 2014. Flooding is the Number 2 weather killer in the United States, ahead of tornadoes and severe weather, and is the costliest weather-related disaster we face. While much of the focus remains on thunderstorms and tornadoes, flooding can often be an underrated killer.

A variety of flooding and related phenomena place Central Alabama at risk throughout the year. Flooding can result from a number of weather systems including slow-moving or stationary frontal systems, inland moving tropical cyclones and intense summertime thunderstorms. These systems can produce flash flooding in low lying flood prone areas and along small creeks and streams, as well as river flooding along mainstreams.

Types of Flooding:

  • A Flash Flood Warning is issued for flooding that normally occurs within six hours of heavy or intense rainfall. This results in small creeks and streams quickly rising out of their banks. Dangerous flooding in areas near these creeks and streams, as well as low-lying flood prone areas, develops very quickly and is a significant threat to life and/or property. In these cases, the water is also flowing at a good rate and is hazardous.  The images below are examples of flash flooding in Blount County (left) from June 1999 and at the Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery (right) from May 2009.

    Flash Flooding

    Flash Flooding

  • An Areal (pronounced AIR - e - al) Flood Warning is normally issued for flooding that develops more gradually, usually from prolonged and persistent moderate to heavy rainfall. This results in a gradual ponding or buildup of water in low-lying, flood prone areas, as well as small creeks and streams. The flooding normally occurs more than six hours after the rainfall begins, and may cover a large area. However, even though this type of flooding develops more slowly than flash flooding, it can still be a threat to life and property.  The images below are examples of areal flooding in Alabaster (Shelby County) from March 2010.
     Areal Flooding  Areal Flooding

  • A River Flood Warning is issued when a particular river/stream is expected to overflow its banks due to recent heavy rainfall or prolonged rainfall over the drainage basin. This, in turn, inundates areas that are normally dry, such as low-lying areas near the river bank. The images below are examples of river flooding along the Cahaba River near Mountain Brook (left) and along the Tallapoosa River at Wadley (right), both from May 2003.
     River Flooding  River Flooding

Daily Topics:

Flood Awareness Week is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.

Each day during Flood Awareness Week will be devoted to a different topic:

Flood Awareness Week Schedule


Flood Safety - Preparedness & Awareness


Turn Around, Don't Drown


Flood Hazards


National Weather Service Water Resources


Partner Resources

Flood Statistics:
 2013 Flood Fatalities by Gender
Fatalities by Gender
 2013 Flood Fatalities by Acivity
Fatalities by Activity
 2013 Flood Fatalities by Age
Fatalities by Age
2013 Flood Fatalities by Month
Fatalities by Month
Related Links and Topics of Interest: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.