Flood Facts for Kids

Jennifer Betts
Man With Bicycle Standing In Water

When you think of water and rain, maybe you think about splashing around in puddles or watching it roll down your window. But water can be dangerous if it causes flooding. Learn more about the awesome power of water and floods.

What Is a Flood?

A flood is an area that has an excess of water. The water overflows and goes into areas that are typically dry. For example, too much water in a stream or river can cause it to go over roads and into people's houses. Excess water also causes the rivers to swell and spill over into areas that are typically dry, like the forest or farms. A flood is one of the most common natural disasters. Out of natural disasters that occurred from 1995 to 2015, 43 percent of them were floods.

Causes

Floods can be caused by a multitude of different scenarios. These include:

  • Heavy rain
  • Dam or levee breaking
  • Reservoir overflowing
  • Thunderstorm
  • Tsunami
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Rapidly thawing snow
  • Ice jams

Where Do Floods Occur?

Floods occur all over the world and in almost every place. However, some places are more susceptible to flooding.

Flood Plains

Flood plains are areas near a river or stream that are first impacted when the water starts to collect in the river or stream from excess rain or other factors. The water of the river or stream will start to rise and cover the area in the flood plain.

Wave washing onto the promenade of a seaside town

Coastal Flood Plain

Another area that is a natural flood area is land by the ocean. This is because storms like hurricanes or tsunamis can cause the ocean water to crash into the land creating flood areas.

Places

However, there are specific areas that get more floods than most.

  • In the U.S., floods typically happen most in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • India, Bangladesh and China are listed as having the most exposure to floods around the world.

When Do Floods Happen?

Floods can happen at any time. But there are times when floods are more likely to occur. There are not specific flood seasons like there are hurricane or tornado seasons. However, floods typically occur when there is more rainfall. This is typically from the spring to the fall in the United States.

Interesting Facts About Floods

Now check out some interesting facts about floods around the world.

  • Not all floods are considered a natural disaster; the flooding of the Nile is actually beneficial.
  • The worst flood in history is considered to be the 1931 Yangtze River flood caused by extreme rainfall in China.
  • Thailand holds the record for the most expensive flood in 2011 which cost 45 billion in damage.
  • Snow from the mountains can cause floods if the area heats up too fast.
  • A flash flood can happen at any time and place without much warning.
  • Floods are so powerful they can carry away cars full of people and houses. They can also wash out roads.

Flood Resources

There are several resources out there that can provide facts to kids about floods and how to prepare for them.

  • KidKonnect offers not only interesting facts about floods and how they form but also has worksheets available.
  • Ready.gov offers information on how to prepare for a flood before, during and after one happens. It breaks down how to be ready and create a preparedness kit.
  • Science for Kids offers information on how floods happen and a few fun facts.
  • If you are looking for videos, check out the Dr. Binocs Show about floods.

The Power of Water

Water is a necessity for life but too much of it can be bad. Water that creates floods can wreak havoc. Not only can it remove roads, but it can destroy crops and wipe out entire houses. While floods can happen at any time, there are some times that floods happen more often. To learn more about storms and water, check out LTK's Tsunami Facts for Kids.

Flood Facts for Kids