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Friday, June 26, 2015

FLASH FLOOD WATCH for Saturday - PGFD Safety Advice


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 most of the National Capital Region including Prince George's County. This Watch goes into effect at 2:00 am Saturday through late Saturday night.

This is the most recent NWS forecast:




* LOW PRESSURE WILL INTENSIFY AS IT DRIFTS NORTHEAST ACROSS
  OHIO...STALLING OVER LAKE ERIE THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.
  MEANWHILE...A WARM FRONT WILL LIFT FROM SOUTHERN VIRGINIA TO
  PENNSYLVANIA THROUGH SATURDAY. ASSOCIATED HEAVY RAINS WILL
  DEVELOP LATE TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING ACROSS THE
  SHENANDOAH VALLEY AND SPREADING NORTHEAST ACROSS THE REST OF
  THE AREA SATURDAY MORNING. RAINS...HEAVY AT TIMES WITH
  EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED SATURDAY INTO SATURDAY
  EVENING WITH ONE TO THREE INCHES OF RAIN LIKELY BY THE TIME A
  COLD FRONT CLEARS THE AREA SATURDAY NIGHT.

* DUE TO VERY WET ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS AND HEAVY RAINS EXPECTED
  ON SATURDAY...POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR FLASH FLOODING TO OCCUR ON
  SMALL STREAMS...CREEKS AND URBAN AREAS. SIGNIFICANT RISES ARE
  ALSO LIKELY ON MAIN STEM RIVERS SUCH AS THE POTOMAC AND
  SHENANDOAH RIVERS.

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.
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.

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