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Friday, July 8, 2011

Flash Flood Watch Issued for Prince George's County - Safety Tips

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Prince George's County.  Please read this valuable information and Stay Informed, Stay Ready, Stay Safe by keeping Safety First will ensure everyone goes home.


From: The National Weather Service

Alert: ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...
THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF MARYLAND...THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...VIRGINIA AND
NORTHEAST WEST VIRGINIA...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN
MARYLAND...ANNE ARUNDEL...CALVERT...CARROLL...CHARLES...
FREDERICK MD...HARFORD...HOWARD...MONTGOMERY...NORTHERN
BALTIMORE...PRINCE GEORGES...SOUTHERN BALTIMORE AND ST. MARYS.
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN VIRGINIA...ALBEMARLE...
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA...AUGUSTA...CLARKE...
CULPEPER...EASTERN HIGHLAND...FAIRFAX...GREENE...KING GEORGE...
LOUDOUN...MADISON...NELSON...NORTHERN FAUQUIER...ORANGE...
PAGE...PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK...RAPPAHANNOCK...
ROCKINGHAM...SHENANDOAH...SOUTHERN FAUQUIER...SPOTSYLVANIA...
STAFFORD...WARREN AND WESTERN HIGHLAND. IN NORTHEAST WEST
VIRGINIA...EASTERN PENDLETON AND WESTERN PENDLETON.

* THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

* A WEAK COLD FRONT WILL DROP INTO A VERY MOIST AND HUMID AIRMASS
THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED
TO DEVELOP EARLY THIS AFTERNOON...AND CONTINUE INTO THE EVENING.
RAINFALL RATES WITHIN THESE THUNDERSTORMS MAY EXCEED 2 INCHES IN
LESS THAN AN HOUR. SEVERAL THUNDERSTORMS POTENTIALLY COULD TRACK
ACROSS THE SAME AREA...RESULTING IN FLASH FLOODING.

Instructions:


A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.

The combined volunteer and career men and women of your Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department want you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.

Floods begin when soil and vegetation cannot absorb falling rain or melting snow, and when water runs off the land in such quantities that it cannot be carried away quickly enough in normal stream channels or cannot be retained in natural ponds and man-made reservoirs.

Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days; however, flash floods can develop quickly within a few minutes or hours of heavy rainstorms or a dam or levee failure. It's important to be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, in a densely populated area, near water or downstream from a dam.

Flood Facts...

Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall or a dam failure. Flooding is a longer-term event and may last a week or more.

Most flash flooding is caused by (1) slow-moving thunderstorms, (2) thunder-storms repeatedly moving over the same area or (3) heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.

Densely populated areas have a high risk for flash floods. The construction of buildings, highways, driveways, and parking lots increases runoff by reducing the amount of rain absorbed by the ground.

Water can erode the roadbed creating unsafe driving conditions.

Many flash floods occur at night when flooded roads are hard to see.

2 feet of water will float your car, truck or SUV!!! 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related. If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into a flooded underpass can quickly put you in 5-6 feet of water.

Flood Safety Tips...

Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

If you come upon floodwaters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!

Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.

If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television.

Two Fatal Crashes on 7-7-11

Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics worked valiantly to save the life of a male struck by a car on the Capital Beltway in College Park.  Just before 6:00 pm on Thursday, July 7, 2011, Fire/EMS units from Branchville, Calverton, Beltsville, College Park, Berwyn Heights and Greenbelt responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash with injuires and an auto fire.  Upon arrival on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway underneath the skyramp of south I-95, Chief 841A, advised of a multi-vehicle crash with auto fire and an unknown number of injured victims. 

Firefighters went to work with extinguishing the auto fire and assessing the injured victims.  An adult male was found with traumatic injuries and having no pulse or respiration's.  He had been struck by a car while in the process of changing a tire on the left shoulder of the Beltway.  CPR and advanced pre-hospital care was initiated and the patient was transported to an area hospital.  Despite the valiant efforts of firefighters, paramedics and hospital staff, the adult male succumbed to injuries a short time after arriving at the hospital. 

Medics also tended to four additional patients which included 2 females, both under the age of 8 and an adult male and female, 30ish years of age.  These four patients were transported to area Trauma Centers with serious non-life threatening injuries.

The Maryland State Police, College Park Barracks, are investigating the crash.

Later in the evening, just before 10:00 pm, Fire/EMS units from the Laurel area responded to a single vehicle motor vehicle crash on northbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway north of Laurel-Bowie Road.  For whatever reasons, the vehicle left the right side of roadway, down an embankment striking trees along the way.  Four occupants of the vehicle were trapped within the wreckage.  All four patients were extricated within 30 minutes.  Paramedics used the resources of a Maryland State Police and United State Park Police meda-vac helicopters to transport all four patients to a Trauma Center.  Tragically, one of the four patients succumbed to injuries at the hospital.  The United States Park Police are investigating this crash.


A vehicle caught fire after being involved in a collision on Route 495 under Route 95. (BRADY)

Fire/EMS units operate on scene of crash on Route 495 under Route 95. (BRADY)

Crash scene on Route 495 under Route 95. (BRADY)

A vehicle caught fire after being involved in a collision on Route 495 under Route 95. (BRADY)