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Monday, June 1, 2015

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

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

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Prince George's County and surrounding areas.  Please take the time to read their most recent update and safety advice.

From the National Weather Service:

FLASH FLOOD WATCH THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL INCREASE IN COVERAGE THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE THROUGH THROUGH MOST OF TONIGHT. SOME OF THE STORMS WILL CONTAIN TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS WHICH MAY LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. AVERAGE RAINFALL AMOUNTS BETWEEN ONE TO TWO INCHES ARE EXPECTED...BUT LOCALIZED AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF THREE INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN HEAVIER THUNDERSTORMS. RAINFALL RATES AROUND ONE TO TWO INCHES PER HOUR ARE EXPECTED IN HEAVIER THUNDERSTORMS. RECENT RAINFALL HAS SATURATED SOILS WHICH WILL ALSO INCREASE THE THREAT FOR FLASH FLOODING DURING THIS TIME.

* HEAVY RAINFALL IN SHORT PERIODS OF TIME MAY CAUSE RAPID RISES ON CREEKS AND STREAMS AS WELL AS FLASH FLOODING IN URBAN AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

Safety Advice 

Precautionary/preparedness actions: A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

Turn Around - Don't Drown video from the National Weather Service - click here to watch.

Flash 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.

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.  Help us by helping yourself and heed warnings and safety tips.


Flash 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 in high water, DON'T PANIC, leave your car and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely and call 911.

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


STAY INFORMED - STAY READY - STAY SAFE!!!

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