In May 2018, Raleigh experienced a major rainstorm with almost four inches of rain falling in an hour and a half. In some areas, two inches of rain fell in 15 minutes. This is not very common. But, when we do get storms like this - rain can cause unexpected flooding throughout the city. Flooding typically happens in the floodplain.
What is the Floodplain?
The floodplain is the area directly surrounding streams and creeks. This area is an important part of the creek system. The floodplain:
- Cleans and stores stormwater runoff;
- Gives water a place to flow when streams cannot handle any more water; and,
- Improves water quality.
Other Flooding Causes
Major storms also can overwhelm the City's stormwater system. This happens when too much water flows through pipes at one time. Flooding like this can cause the infrastructure to fail flooding roads and properties.
Can Flooding be Prevented?
In situations like this, flooding cannot be completely prevented. So, public safety remains our top priority.
- Crews clean out debris from stormwater pipes leading up to and after a storm to make sure drains are clear.
- We use stream gauges to monitor stream flow and assess potential flooding risks to the community.
Pay attention to road closures during flash flooding. Barriers and detours are put in place for your safety. Most importantly, emergencies should be reported to 911.