Today's heavy rains brought flash flooding conditions to Central Texas and almost cost a young child his life.

Temple Fire & Rescue, Temple Police and Scott & White EMS responded to a report of a child in a creek in the 1000 Block of North 12th Street Tuesday afternoon.

The elementary school age child attempted to cross a creek, underestimated the force of the fast-moving water and quickly lost his balance, causing him to fall in and be carried downstream.  He managed to grab hold of a low-lying branch and pull himself to safety on the opposite side of the creek before an older sibling ran to call for help.  The child was walking back home when firefighters found him.  He was reunited with his family before being taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.  People walking into or near fast-moving water are at risk to slip, lose their balance and drown (the second leading cause of flash flooding death).

The NOAA National Weather Service asks people not to cross areas covered with water and to consider the following:

  • Six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult.
  • Two feet of rushing water will carry away most vehicles, including pickups and SUV’s.
  • It’s difficult to judge the depth of water or condition of the ground/road covered by water.

Firefighters from Temple Fire and Rescue remind you to stay informed and prepared by following these safety tips:

  • Monitor weather conditions on your television, internet-equipped computer or mobile device at www.weather.gov/fortworth or NOAA Weather (All Hazards) radio.  The National Weather Service issues weather watches and warnings via this system.  Severe weather apps for mobile devices are available as a free download or for a nominal fee.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground.  Leave areas subject to flooding.
  • Avoid areas already flooded.  Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • Never drive through flooded roadways or around traffic barricades.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.

Additional information is available from the following websites:

Federal Emergency Management Agency, www.fema.gov/
Texas Division of Emergency Management, www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/
Texas Department of State Health Services, www.texasprepares.org