Does this area ever flood?
Good question! I usually get this inquiry when I'm showing property in rural areas next to a river or creek. But sometimes being near a tributary has nothing to do with whether an area will flood or not.
Blocked drains and ditches. A road that doesn't normally flood will certainly do so if drains, ditches and canals haven't been maintained. During the fall, tree branches and leaves play a great part in creating a back-up, just like they do in rain gutters on your house. All it takes is a few inches of rainfall to cover a level road if the drain is not functioning.
And don't forget about tides. If you live near the ocean like I do, the rivers that normally flow freely into the ocean will find themselves fighting a high tide that is coming in. This is especially true during a "king tide" which is one of the highest tides of the year. If a storm hits during a king tide event, you can expect to have more flooding in low-lying areas.
And then there is the perfect storm. This is when you have saturated ground, relentless rain, a king tide and the release of dam waters into the river that feeds the ocean ... all at the same time. We had a major flood here in 1986 that we haven't seen the likes of since. An entire town near the Russian River was inundated with flood waters, forcing evacuation by any means possible, mainly by helicopter and boat.
So maybe the best way to answer the question "does this area ever flood?" is "yes, but we'll never know when".
* 1986 photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons