Flooding has many causes, including heavy rain, snow melting too fast, and dams or levees breaking. Coastal flooding occurs during hurricanes from heavy rainfall and storm surge, which causes sea level to rise temporarily at the shore.
Why do floods matter?
Flooding is the most common, and costliest, natural hazard facing the United States. The National Weather Service published reports on flood damages and deaths until 2014. From 1984 to 2014 floods caused an average of $8 billion in damages and 82 deaths per year nationwide.
How does geoscience help inform decisions about flood hazards?
Geoscientists study water and fluid flow, monitor streamflow, and map out past flooding events and likely inundation zones to understand how and where flooding occurs and inform the public about flood risk. They also design structures to reduce flooding impacts and inform land-use managers and policy makers to establish best practices for flood management.
 Storm Events Database, National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/
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