In August, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, bringing with it blowing winds, heavy rains and surging sea water. New Orleans is situated in the Gulf of Mexico, right on the water. Dams and levees have been built to protect the city, but they weren’t enough. The levees broke in several places and 85 percent of the city was flooded. More than 1,000 people died and 100,000 people lost their homes.
Floods have occurred for millions of years. Some floods are caused by ferocious storms and hurricanes. Others happen when a dam breaks or even when a beaver dam backs up water flow. Floods are the most expensive natural disaster, causing millions of dollars of damage. Most of the time, floods happen over a few days so people can prepare and evacuate. Sometimes floods happen quickly when lots of rain falls.
Fun Facts about Floods for Kids
- In ancient Egypt, people liked the floods along the Nile River because the floods brought rich soil for farming.
- Builders sometimes drain wetlands for homes and businesses. These wetlands are important not just because they harbor wildlife, but because they provide a place for water to go during storms.
- If the weather suddenly turns hot, flooding can happen because snow in the mountains melts too quickly.
- Surging: rising, pressing
- Levee: type of dam
- Ferocious: strong, fierce
- Expensive: costly
- Wetland: an area near rivers and lakes where the soil is moist and boggy
All about Floods Video for Kids
Check out this cool video all about floods for kids:
A documentary about floods: why it happens and its effects.
Question: How can I be safe in a flood?
Answer: Never play around lakes, streams and rivers without an adult. Go to higher ground if heavy rainfall and flooding occur. If you get caught in a flood, head to higher ground.
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