2013-03-21 / Local & State

Flood Safety Awareness Week March 18-22

When you hear the word “water,” you may think of swimming pools or weekends at the lake. You might even think of a long rainy day. But that seemingly harmless rain water can become so dangerous that it kills more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning. We call this a flash flood.

A flash food is not something that takes days to happen, like a regular flood. Instead, it’s a situation that can develop quickly.

In some cases, it may not even be raining where you live. However, if the rain has fallen upstream, that means it will be heading to your area soon.

A flash flood watch means that flash flooding is possible in or near the watch area. While a flash flood warning means that flooding is occurring in the area or will be very soon.

If you live in a low-lying area or near a river, stream or dam then you need to be prepared to evacuate quickly. If not, the rapidly rising flood waters could leave you trapped. The last place you want to be is on your roof, waiting for a boat or helicopter to take you to safety.

Children should not play in ditches or other waterways. The water can become deep very fast and the current can become very strong.

Campers should be careful selecting campsites and parking recreational vehicles.

Drivers should watch for flooding at bridges and dips in the road. Rapidly rising water can carry the car away or the road may already be washed out. Anytime your vehicle becomes trapped in water, get out immediately and move to higher ground.

Watches and warnings may be given over the radio or television, but be prepared to react on your own and anticipate the possibility of flash flooding.

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