Floods are one of the most common and most costly natural hazards in Prince William County, however, not all floods are alike. Floods typically occur when too much rain falls or snow melts too quickly and saturates the ground. While some floods develop slowly, others, such as flash floods, occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or in a low lying area.
According to the National Weather Service, flooding is the leading cause of severe weather-related deaths in the U.S., which is especially tragic since many are preventable. Of the nearly 100 flood-related fatalities each year, most occur as people attempt to drive on flooded roads.
During times of potential flooding listen to your NOAA Weather Radio and local media reports for flood warnings. Know the difference between a Watch and a Warning and be prepared to take protective actions.
Flood/Flash Flood Watch = Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning = Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
For more information about what do before, during and after a flood visit:
For information on how to obtain a flood insurance policy visit Floodsmart.gov.