You might have noticed the use of the word “areal” in flood watches and warnings from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service adopted the term several years ago. It generally means the same as the more commonly used “Flood Watch” designation. Basically an Areal Flood Watch means there is potential for flooding over a large area. The word “areal” is the adjective version of the noun “area.”

Flash flooding can occur after a few minutes of heavy rainfall or after hours of significant precipitation. And Logansport area residents can expect such a possibility over the next few days, as the several inches of snow we accumulated last week melts away.

The potential for areal flooding happens along roadways near farm fields.

Hoosiers who live in flood-prone areas should always be conscious of the threat of flash floods when significant rain or snowmelt strikes. Motorists must continue to watch for standing water in the low agricultural areas.

Indiana State Police offer these tips when flooding occurs.

• Don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. If you have to travel, carry a cellphone with a car charger.

• Purchase a weather scanner and heed all flood and flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

• Do not drive around barricades at water crossings.

• Be especially vigilant at night. Many drowning deaths occur at night when it is difficult to see water crossings.

• Do not cross or enter flowing water. Driving fast through high water on the road is not a solution. Faster speeds create less tire contact with the road surface and increase your chance of crashing.

• Driving through standing water may affect your brakes. Test your brakes at low speeds as soon as you exit the water.

• Remember that 6 inches of water will reach the bottoms of most car doors. One foot of water will float many vehicles, and 2 feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles. If you find yourself stranded in flood waters remain calm and call 911. If you can do so safely, move to higher ground.

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