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What Is a Flood?


A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water.

Floods are caused by heavy rains that pour too much water into rivers and other waterways, making these natural channels unable to carry all the water. Rising water flows over or breaks the banks to the waterways causing the surrounding land to be flooded.

Causes of floods include:

  • Saturated or frozen ground
  • Full streams
  • Full dams
  • Snow cover
  • Ice jams

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