Stormy Weather


How much rain does it take to make a flood?

The amount varies widely for different areas. In some U.S. western deserts, or in some large urban areas, just a few minutes of strong rain will cause a flash flood in canyons and low-lying areas. In areas prone to greater rainfall amounts, it often takes quite a bit more rain (sometimes a few days’ or weeks’ worth) to cause rivers to overflow and dams to fill up, raising concerns of those who live downstream. Areas that normally receive more rainfall have better natural drainage systems and are usually home to plants that readily absorb the extra water.


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