Flood Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Why do floods happen? This lesson will teach you all about flooding and some of the causes of floods. You will also learn about some famous floods in history and problems that happen when flooding occurs.

What Is A Flood?

Have you ever heard a reporter talk about a flash flood warning on the news? A flood happens when water covers land that is usually dry. A flash flood is a term we use to describe a flood that happens very quickly in low-lying land, and it's usually caused by very heavy rains.

What Causes Floods?

The heavy rains that lead to flooding are typically caused by hurricanes and thunderstorms. During these storms' heavy rains, water pools up quickly and has nowhere to go--the ground becomes saturated, or full, of water and must rise. Steady rain not from a major storm can also cause flooding.

Floods can happen when levees and dams break (these are structures that keep water from flowing out of rivers and onto dry land). Flooding also occurs when snow or ice melts quickly in the winter.

This flood happened because a river overflowed.

Problems From Floods

Sometimes, floods can be so severe that they cover entire houses and ruin the infrastructure of cities. Rescue teams have to come in and save people trapped on their roofs, and lives can be lost during these deadly situations.

But more commonly, floods are milder weather events that simply require us to avoid driving due to dangerous conditions. In fact, this is the most common problem with flooding, and just 6 inches of water is enough to make a car float!

It is very dangerous to drive cars through flooded areas.

Floods can also knock out power lines and cause people to lose energy in their homes. This makes it hard for people to stay warm and prepare food to eat. When the flooding stops, water sources like lakes and rivers are sometimes no longer safe to drink from. In these cases, people have to find other places to get their water and make sure not to drink water from the faucet until the areas have been cleaned up.

Famous Floods

  • The Yellow River in China experienced a series of floods in 1931, and they've gone down in history as the deadliest floods in the world. An estimated 3.7 million people lost their lives in the 1931 Yellow River floods. The Yellow River was also home to the world's second and third-deadliest floods in 1887 and 1938.

The Yellow River in China experienced some of the deadliest floods in history.
yellow river

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account