What is a flash flood and why is it dangerous?

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A flash flood is when an immense amount of water rises along a waterway or low lying area so fast that the water can't be dispersed by the soil or runoff or drainage ditches. Flash floods typically occur when a slow moving thunderstorm travels over a geographic area dumping large amounts of water in a very short period of time. Arid areas, such as deserts, are particularly prone to flooding because their soil does not absorb water quickly.