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We present the Flash flooding protocol for rapid network flooding in wireless sensor networks. Traditional flooding protocols can be very slow because of neighborhood contention: nodes cannot propagate the flood until neighboring nodes have finished their transmissions. The Flash flooding protocol avoids this problem by allowing concurrent transmissions among neighboring nodes. It relies on the capture effect to ensure that each node receives the flood from at least one of its neighbors, and introduces new techniques to either recover from or prevent too many concurrent transmissions. We evaluate the Flash flooding protocol on both a 48-node wireless sensor network testbed and in a trace-based simulator. Our results indicate that the Flash flooding protocol can reduce latency by as much as 80%, achieving flooding latencies near the theoretical lower bound without sacrificing coverage, reliability or power consumption.