Flooding is a natural disaster that often occurs as the result of prolonged rainfall in a location. The cause of the rain is sometimes slow-moving weather fronts, but at other times, it is from large storms, including hurricanes.Continue Reading
Damage from flooding is often substantial. Over the 30-year period from 1974 to 2004, annual losses due to flooding averaged $5.3 billion and 93 human lives. In 2005, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the cost of flooding from Hurricane Rita alone in tens of billions of dollars. During that storm, hundreds of lives were lost. However, meteorologists are able to forecast most floods well in advance, giving people time to escape. The greatest loss of human life is not due to a lack of knowing that floods were coming. People lose their lives by driving vehicles into floodwaters. The powerful, moving water washes the car downstream, sometimes leading to the drowning of the occupants.
The effects of flooding are not all negative. As floodwaters overflow their banks, they deposit sand and silt on farmlands, improving the fertility of the soil with minerals and organic materials. The ancient Egyptians living along the Nile understood these benefits and planned their lives around annual flooding of the river. They knew that heavy flooding led to increased crop yield.Learn more about Storms