ATLANTA -- As flood waters rise in Atlanta - and other parts of the country - the National Weather Service (NWS) has an important message for the public.
That message is simple: Turn Around, Don't Drown.
According to NWS officials, each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.
The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water.
Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.
A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. Officials said that it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.