Flash floods may occur after a volcanic eruption as a result of the change in weather such as thunderstorms and the soil getting over soaked.
Flash floods are extremely dangerous because of their sudden nature. Being in a vehicle provides little to no protection against being swept away; it may make people overconfident and less likely to avoid the flash flood. More than half of the fatalities attributed to flash floods are people swept away in vehicles when trying to cross flooded intersections. As little as two feet of water (60 cm) can be enough to carry away most SUV-sized vehicles. In the United States, the National Weather Service (part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reported in 2005 that, using a national 30-year average, more people die yearly in floods (127 on average) than by lightning (73), tornadoes (65), or hurricanes (16).
The desert southwestern U.S. is especially dangerous for both hikers and vehicles from the sudden onslaught of water from isolated thunderstorms. These rains fill poorly-absorbent and often clay-like dry riverbeds. A moving flood will usually be headed by a debris pile that may have wood branches and/or logs. Deep slot canyons can be especially dangerous to hikers as they may be flooded by a storm that occurs on a mesa miles away, sweeping through the canyon, making it difficult to climb up and out of the way to avoid the flood. Valley roads frequently cross dry river and creek beds without bridges. From the driver's perspective, there may be clear weather, when unexpectedly a river forms ahead of or around the vehicle in a matter of seconds.