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Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods such as: heavy rain or snow melt; coastal storms and storm surge; waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice; or overflow of levees, dams, or wastewater systems. Flooding can occur slowly over many days or can happen very quickly with little or no warning. When flooding occurs without any warning, it is called flash flooding.

Flooding can happen in any U.S. State or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as a river, stream, or culvert, along a coast, or downstream from a dam or levee.

Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the Country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

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