National Hazards: Floods
Cathedral High School
Floods are very dangerous natural hazards. Every year they cost millions if not billions of dollars in damages, to people everywhere. They affect a lot of people worldwide. Floods can also be caused by a number of events. Snow melts, tropical storms, and dam or levee breaks are just a few of the causes of floods. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are in the natural flood plains of rivers. While river flood damage can be eliminated by moving away from rivers and other bodies of water, people have traditionally lived and worked by rivers because the land is usually flat and fertile and because ...view middle of the document...
Moisture in houses can also cause mold and spores to form, affecting people long after the initial flood. The great Midwestern flood of 1993 lasted over 4 months, ruined 49,000 homes, and caused 16 billion in property damage.
When a rainstorm randomly appears and a lot of rain falls in a short period of time, this is called a flash flood. When this happens in desert biomes, there is a lot more water collected than in other environments. This is due to the dry desert floor being unable to absorb the moisture the rain provides. Flash floods are the number one killer of all the natural disasters in the United States. They can cause boulders to roll, let loose derbies, and destroy buildings, bridges, and other artificial structures. Flash floods can occur anywhere in the world, but are most commonly found in areas with a dry environment.
Floods are not only caused by an overabundance of rain, but can also be caused by a lack of absorption from the ground. This means floods can also be caused by new developing lands and areas that are undergoing heavy urbanization. When rain falls in these areas, there is less ground able to absorb the precipitation. As more and more rain falls, the water begins to pool in areas. Even rains that last only an hour or so can cause many thousands of dollars in damages, if not more.
Perhaps one of the most terrifying and destructive causes of a flood is the Dam or Levee breaks. These can occur when an area with a dam or levee experiences a high amount of rain. After a while, the dam or levee may reach a critical level where it might not be able to hold any more water. Once this level is surpassed the dam or levee may overflow or break completely, allowing all of the water inside of the dam or levee to disperse. According to the National Inventory of Dams, there are over 74,000 dams in the United States. Nearly one third of those Dams would pose a significant risk to the wildlife, people, environment, and property if the dam would collapse.
Tropical storms are the last and probably the most known and feared of all floods. Just the sheer destruction and death toll alone are enough to leave anyone running out of their way. Tropical storm flooding can result from many things, such as tsunamis and storm drains overflowing. Tsunamis can be caused by earthquakes near coastlines or on the bottom of the...