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Thursday, October 1, 2015

PGFD FLASH FLOODING SAFETY ADVICE

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

An approaching storm, Joaquin, is approaching and forecasted to impact our weather over this week and weekend.  Regardless of where it makes landfall the storm will bring heavy rains and high winds.  Driving conditions will be treaties and we advise to limit your driving and curtail all driving during periods of adverse weather.

To prepare yourself before the storm rolls into the County, heed this PGFD Safety Advice.

Please become familiar with what a Flash Flood is and advice to stay safe.

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.
A Flash Flood Warning means that flash flooding is occurring and that conditions are present that flash flooding is likely to occur.
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, television or Internet.

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