Slow moving storms have soaked parts of Texas and Louisiana this week and millions of people in the region are under flash flood watches into Thursday. Relentless rain, in some areas more than a foot of it is only part of the story. Strong winds have also blown over trees and damaged some buildings.
The power was out for 100,000 Texan homes and businesses on Wednesday morning but by the afternoon that number had been reduced to 29,000. In neighboring Louisiana, at least four deaths have been blamed on the weather this week and with more rain in the forecast through Friday, some areas of Oklahoma and Arkansas are also on the lookout for possible flash floods.
JENNIFER GRAY: In the U.S. flash floods kill more people than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightening. A flash flood creates a rush of moving water that can sweep a grown man off his feet, a car off the road and even your entire home off its foundation. When the ground becomes so saturated that water can no longer seep into the soil, it begins to run off quickly into rivers and streams and this causes a rise in water in a flash.
Densely populated areas have an extremely high risk of flash flooding with the additional concrete and less grassy areas for the water to soak into the soil and they can see flash flooding very quickly.
In mountainous terrain, the combination of gravity plus the easy runoff can lead to catastrophic flooding when all of that water's funneled into rivers, creeks and even the valleys. Remember, flash flooding can happen in the blink of an eye. That's why it's important to stay alert and pay attention in case a flash flood watch or warning is issued for your area.