How Does a Flood Happen?

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How Does a Flood Happen?
(Sorina Bindea)

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Lakes and Rivers

Floods occur in lakes and rivers when too much water fills them. This water has to escape, typically up and over their boundaries. Picture a pool being filled, but the water coming out of the hose never being turned off. The water then begins to spill over the edges. In rivers and lakes, too much water typically occurs when there is more rainfall than normal or from a strong storm. There is too much water at once and since evaporation cannot occur quickly enough, the lakes and rivers begin to cause floods around them.

Shore Floods

Shore floods occur along the coasts of any continent. These floods are caused by hurricanes, tropical storms, tsunamis and even heavy wind storms that push the water inland. The floods are not a result of escaping a boundary in this case. They are a result of one of the above mentioned types of storms that picks the sea or ocean water up and drop it on land. The land is not capable of soaking up that much water all at once and so the water remains in the form of a flood.

Unforeseeable Events

Flooding can also occur during some unforeseeable events such as an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. These are less common. One of the more common unforeseeable floods come as a result of a dam breaking open. The dam grows weaker over time and if not repaired will eventually break, sending the water rushing across the land. Again, the land is not capable of absorbing this large of an amount of water at once so the water remains on the land.

Flood Damage

Floods have been known to do some significant damage. They destroy homes, crops, cars, buildings and anything in their path. Animals and people get caught in the current of the flowing water and can't get out before rescue attempts are made.

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