There’s been a lot of rain in Connecticut this month. Some areas have gotten 8-9″ since Friday. The Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers have risen to flood stage, though both are receding at the moment.
I have used the word flood a zillion times and now I wonder if it might be too non-specific to be useful?
When the Connecticut River goes over bankfull in Hartford and fills a park with water, that’s flooding. When the Housatonic River starts encroaching on homes downstream from the Stevenson Dam that’s flooding. So are deep puddles on low sections of roads, basements with water and Long Island Sound moving ‘inland’ during winter storms.
All of these have different impacts. Most have different derivations. They all have the same name.
Is someone whose seen ‘flooding’ in the form of a submerged park in Hartford going to be wary of flooding when it’s flash flooding along a small brook? A flash flood could bring water to homes where it’s never been seen before.
I’ve often heard how Eskimos have many different words to describe snow. Maybe we need more words to describe flooding. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.