Clark and Washington counties are under a flood warning as of Wednesday

Clark and Washington counties are under a flood warning as of Wednesday

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Monday at 8:58 a.m. effective as of midnight Wednesday for Clark and Washington counties.

The weather service adds: “Turn around, do not drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood fatalities occur in vehicles. The following statement will be issued as updates occur.”

Deciphering advisories, watches and warnings: Understanding weather alerts

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action!

A flash flood warning is issued when flooding is imminent or is already occurring. In areas prone to flooding, it is necessary to move immediately to higher ground. A flash flood is sudden, violent inundation that can develop within minutes to hours, and can occur even in areas that are not currently experiencing rainfall.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action!

A flood warning is announced when flooding is about to occur or is already underway.

  • Flood Warning: Pay attention:

A flood warning is issued when flooding is not expected to reach a severity level that would require a warning to be issued. However, it can still cause significant inconvenience and, without caution, lead to life- and/or property-threatening situations.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:

A flood warning is issued when conditions are conducive to flooding. This does not mean flooding, but it is possible.

Weathering the Storm: Flood Safety Guidelines from the Weather Service

In flood-prone areas or while camping in low-lying areas, understanding and following the weather service’s flood safety guidelines can be life-saving:

1. Find high ground:

  • If you live in a flood-prone area or are camping in a low-lying area, the first step to safety is to move to higher ground.

2. Adherence to evacuation orders:

  • When local authorities issue an evacuation order, obey it immediately. Before leaving, secure your home by locking it.

3. Disconnect utilities and appliances:

  • If time permits, disconnect your utilities and appliances. This reduces the risk of electrical hazards during floods.

4. Avoid basements and flooded areas:

  • Stay away from basements or rooms with flooded outlets or electrical cords. This helps prevent electrical accidents.

5. Immediate safety evacuation:

  • If you notice a spark or hear buzzing, clicking or popping sounds, evacuate immediately. Avoid any water that may be electrostatically charged.

6. Stay away from flood water:

  • Never attempt to walk through floodwater, even if it appears shallow. Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can forcefully sweep you off your feet.

7. Find high ground when surrounded:

  • If trapped by moving water, head to the highest available point and contact emergency services by dialing 911.

During heavy rains, the risk of flooding increases, especially in low-lying and flood-prone areas. Always remember to never drive through water on the road, no matter how shallow it may seem. According to the weather service, at least 12 inches of fast-moving water could carry most vehicles away. Prioritize your safety by staying informed and prepared.

Navigating on rainy roads: wet weather safety tips

When heavy rains fall, the risk of flooding and treacherous roads increases. Here’s your guide from the weather service to staying safe during rain:

Beware of swollen waterways:

  • In heavy rain, refrain from parking or walking near sewers or drainage ditches, as fast-moving water can pose a serious hazard.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • The two-second rule for distance tracking is your ally in heavy rain. Extend it to four seconds to ensure safe spacing in adverse conditions.

Slow down and be careful:

  • If it rains and the roads are wet, slow down. Lift your foot off the accelerator and let your speed gradually decrease. Never apply the brakes suddenly as this may cause the vehicle to skid.

Choose your path wisely:

  • Stick to the middle lanes on multi-lane roads to reduce the risk of aquaplaning, as water tends to accumulate in the outer lanes.

The importance of vision:

  • Enhance your visibility during heavy rain by activating your headlights. Be especially vigilant for vehicles in blind spots, as rain-stained windows can obscure them.

Beware of slippery roads:

  • The first half hour of rain is when the roads are smoothest due to a combination of rain, dirt and oil. Use extreme caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Large trucks and buses can reduce your visibility with tire spray. Avoid tracking and pass quickly and safely.

Take care of the windshield wipers in your car:

  • Heavy rain may overload the wiper blades. When visibility is so limited that road edges or other vehicles cannot be seen at a safe distance, it is time to stop and wait for the rain to subside. It is best to stop at rest areas or other protected areas.
  • When stopping on the side of the road is your only option, park your vehicle as far off the road as possible, preferably behind guardrails. Keep your headlights on and activate your emergency lights to alert other drivers of your location.

In the face of heavy rain, these precautions can make a big difference in ensuring your safety on the road. Remember to stay informed of the weather conditions and listen to local authorities’ advice for a safe trip.

Advanced Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to collect the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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