|flood (flŭd) Pronunciation Key
A temporary rise of the water level, as in a river or lake or along a seacoast, resulting in its spilling over and out of its natural or artificial confines onto land that is normally dry. Floods are usually caused by excessive runoff from precipitation or snowmelt, or by coastal storm surges or other tidal phenomena. ◇ Floods are sometimes described according to their statistical occurrence. A fifty-year flood is a flood having a magnitude that is reached in a particular location on average once every fifty years. In any given year there is a two percent statistical chance of the occurrence of a fifty-year flood and a one percent chance of a hundred-year flood.