Flood Watches and Warnings

  • FLOOD WATCH is issued for situations related to widespread general flooding.
  • FLOOD WARNING is issued when flooding of a normally dry area near a stream or other water source is expected
  • RIVER FLOOD WARNING is issued when a river at a gauge site is expected to, or has, exceeded flood stage.
  • FLASH FLOOD WATCH is issued when sudden violent flooding is anticipated — these are serious situations in which life and/or property are in danger. Flash floods can occur in urban, suburban or rural areas around streams, lakes, or rivers, or when a great deal of rain falls in a short time period, overwhelming storm sewers.
  • FLASH FLOOD WARNING is issued in response to a few hours of locally heavy rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or water released from an ice jam rapidly flooding nearby land.
Updated: 5/2009