Flash floods can move at a rate of anywhere between 30-70 miles per hours. Flash floods generally occur after a heavy rainfall or substantial water release coupled with high wind speeds and debris, which makes the flood violent. In these cases, water height increases rapidly and the intensity of the flood picks up due to the wind and entangled debris. Flash floods are responsible for many natural hazard deaths.
The “flash” in the name comes from how quickly and unexpectedly the floods form, it does not always imply speed. Most flash floods do more quite fast, quicker in tight places where the water is channeled, like Arroyos. The average downstream flow speed of water is 6-12 mph, flash floods are much faster than that. It is worth noting that 6 inches of moving water is enough to knock a person off their feet, and 2 feet of water is enough to float a car.
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