Flooding causes more US deaths than other severe weather

A swift water rescue team down a street covered by floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, N.C., Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 126 people died in flash floods and river flooding in 2016.

Two of those deaths were people from Kansas. One was an 11-year-old boy from Wichita who was swept away by rushing water.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, six inches of water can cause a driver to lose control of their car. One foot of water is enough to float many vehicles, and two feet of rushing water will carry most cars a way, including SUVs and pickups.

Shawnee County Emergency Planner Scott Garcia says if you see water, “turn around; don’t drown.”

“There’s always the potential of possibly drowning,” Garcia said. “And it’s not worth risking your life or anybody that’s with you.”

He said it’s important to for people to know other ways to get home if flooding blocks their usual route. Garcia also said people should stay home unless they absolutely need to go out during flooding.

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