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Social issue concerning the environment flash flood caused by clogging
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Social issue concerning the environment flash flood caused by clogging


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  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Types of flash floods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Causes of flash floods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 EFFECT OF FLASH FLOODS TO THE ENVIRONMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUE (Flash flood specifically caused by clogging) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 REFERRENCE LIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
  • 3. Social Issue Concerning the Environment: Flash Flood Caused by Clogging By: Shaina Mavreen D. Villaroza INTRODUCTION What are flash floods? Flash flood is a sudden and often destructive surge of water down a narrow channel or sloping ground, usually caused by heavy rainfall (Encarta Dictionaries). Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam. Flash floods can strike any time with little or no warning. City streets can become rivers in seconds. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. Most flash flooding is caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms repeatedly moving over the same area, or heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms. Blocked catch basins, storm drains, water main breaks, and sewer lines can also lead to flooding (Flooding, 2009). There are other types of flooding aside from flash flooding such as river flooding, coastal flooding, and urban flooding (Flooding, 2009). Flooding along rivers is a natural and inevitable part of life. Some floods occur seasonally when winter or spring rains, coupled with melting snow, fill river basins with too much water too quickly. Torrential rains from decaying hurricanes or tropical systems can also produce river flooding. Winds generated from tropical storms and hurricanes or intense offshore low pressure systems can drive ocean water inland and cause significant flooding. Escape routes can be blocked off and blocked by high water. Coastal flooding can also be produced by sea waves called tsunamis, 1
  • 4. sometimes referred to as tidal waves. These waves are produced by earthquakes or volcanic activity. As land is converted from fields or woodlands to roads or parking lots, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall. Urbanization increases runoff 2 to 6 times over what would occur on natural terrain (Fairbridge, R.W., 2008). Several factors contribute to flash flooding. The two key elements are rainfall intensity and duration. Intensity is the rate of rainfall, and duration is how long the rain lasts. Topography, soil conditions, and ground cover also play an important role (Fairbridge, R.W., 2008). EFFECTS of Flash Floods to the Environment Floods not only damage property and endanger the lives of humans and animals, but have other effects as well. Rapid runoff causes soil erosion as well as sediment deposition problems downstream. Spawning grounds for fish and other wildlife habitat are often destroyed. High-velocity currents increase flood damage; prolonged high floods delay traffic and interfere with drainage and economic use of lands. Bridge abutments, bank lines, sewer outfalls, and other structures within floodways are damaged, and navigation and hydroelectric power are often impaired. Financial losses due to floods are commonly millions of dollars each year (Flood Control Microsoft Encarta, 2008). Flash flooding is the number one cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, claiming more than 140 lives each year (Flash Floods, Properties and Flooding: Melbourne Water, 2008). Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more. 2
  • 5. Furthermore, flash flood-producing rains can also trigger catastrophic mud slides. Most flood deaths are due to flash floods. During periods of urban flooding, streets can become swift moving rivers, while basements can become death traps as they fill with water. Significant street flooding can pose risks to both pedestrians and drivers. Floodwater from Sewage Back-ups or SBUs can pose serious health risks. Sewage contains germs that may cause stomach or intestinal infections if swallowed. It also may infect a cut on the skin or other open areas, such as the eyes (NYC Hazards: Flash Flooding, 2009). Nearly half of all flood related deaths occur in vehicles. Most of these deaths take place when people drive into flooded highway dips of low drainage areas. A low water crossing is where a road, without a bridge, dips across a normally dry creek bed or drainage area. Motorists who attempt to cross these flooded low water crossings are putting themselves, their vehicles and any other occupants of their vehicles at deadly risk. Whatever you do, don’t drive your car onto a flooded road, even if the water looks shallow. Most flood accidents in the United States occur when vehicles drive into floodwater (Williams, J., 2009). RESOLUTION of the Issue Keep your local drains clear of litter and debris to avoid blocked drains that can cause floods. Even if the debris doesn’t block your own drains, it could be swept downhill and cause flooding elsewhere. To prevent clogging, throw your garbage properly and clean up drains (Flash Floods, Properties and Flooding: Melbourne Water, 2008). The basic methods of flood control have been practiced since ancient times. These methods include reforestation and the construction of levees, 3
  • 6. dams, reservoirs, and floodways (artificial channels that divert floodwater) (Flood Control Microsoft Encarta, 2008). Apply for a planning permit for any redevelopment or new building works if your property has been defined as flood prone. In some cases, changes may be required, such as raising floor levels, or reorienting new building and driveways in a way that does not obstruct the flow of stormwater. Avoid home improvement practices that exacerbate flood risks. For example, consider grading paved areas such as paths and patios, as well as other landscaping, so they direct flows around or away from your house or garage (NYC Hazards: Flash Flooding, 2009). National Weather Service announces ‘Flash Flood Watch’, which is issued when it is possible that rains will cause flash flooding in a specific area, and ‘Flash Flood Warning’, which is issued when flash flooding is occurring or is about to occur in a specified area (Flooding, 2009). 4
  • 7. REFERRENCE LIST Encarta Dictionaries Fairbridge, Rhodes W. "Geomorphology." Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008. “Flash Floods, Properties and Flooding: Melbourne Water”. 2008. Retrieved on January 21,2013. "Flood Control." Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008. “Flooding”.2009. Retrieved on January 22, 2013. “NYC Hazards: Flash Flooding”. 2009. Retrieved on January 21,2013. Williams, Jack. “A Guide To Storms”. Microsoft Encarta Premium 2009. 5