Flooding isn't just a threat to people living near water. Flooding in Columbia County is usually a result of intense rainfall in a brief period, which leaves more water than the ground can absorb. This type of flooding is known as flash flooding. Flash floods occur with little or no warning, move at very fast speeds, and can reach a peak in a few minutes. They can roll rocks, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.
Nature is not the only cause of flooding. New construction and paving alter land's ability to drain properly. As a result, runoff is increased two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain. Areas that were initially zoned as low-risk can quickly become high-risk as urban development alters typography.
In Columbia County, the most densely developed area is in the vicinity of Reed Creek, Betty's Branch and Jones Creek. Localized flooding may occur around these creeks after heavy storms.