Tell me about river floods?

July 15, 2008 5:10:36 AM PDT
article| David Murphy| As the name implies, river floods occur along the banks of rivers and can be among the most devastating types of floods in terms of size and property loss. River floods are most common during a winter or spring thaw. Snow that has accumulated during the winter begins to melt quickly and a great volume of the melt enters streams, creeks and other tributaries of a river. Slowly, the river rises and eclipses its banks, sometimes causing widespread flooding. Rivers may also flood as a result of a prolonged, intense rain, either from a slow-moving complex of storms that form along a stationary front, or from the remnants of a moisture-laden tropical storm or hurricane. River floods are often made worse by human attempts to control and channel a river's water. Dams and levies built to protect low-lying farm land often break as a river's water level rises past flood stage. The result is millions of dollars in lost property and crop. River floods tend to be less lethal than some other types of floods like flash floods, since rivers rise slowly and predictably. Usually, there is advance warning. Even in the case of a broken levy or dam, the chance of a failure is anticipated as the river levels rise.