ATLANTA - Georgia Severe Weather Preparedness Week wraps up Friday focusing on flooding across Georgia.
Rain can be nice, pleasant even, but when all those little raindrops come together, water can be an extremely powerful force, even dangerous and deadly. One little rain shower every so often won’t do it, but six hours of rain could cause creeks, rivers, and even lakes to overflow their banks. And then there is flash flooding, which can come with little to no warning.
Do you know the areas around you that area flood prone? Some of those might include mountainous streams and rivers, urban areas, low-lying areas, and culverts.
Many folks who lived in North Georgia during September 2009 will likely remember the historic flooding caused by several days of rain. Even areas that were not known to flood, were overwhelmed with water as experts said a flood that usually only is seen once a millennium was happening. Schools, homes, bridges, and other structures went underwater for days.
This week, we saw some flooding with the system that moved through. While no homes were really threatened, runoff from the storm on Wednesday did raise creek and rivers above their banks for a few days.
Some things to know about flooding events. Remember, a Flood Watch and Flash Flood Watch mean that conditions could lead to flooding in certain areas. That’s the time to start going over your family’s personalize action plan, especially if you live in a danger zone. That’s because when you hear a Flash Flood Warning or River Flood Warning for your area, it is time to act immediately.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family?
The first thing we’ve been hammer home all week is to be informed. We are quite partial to the FOX 5 Storm Team app because we all carry our cell phones on us now and when set up properly, the app will provide instant notification of major weather events developing wherever you are. An NOAA Weather Radio is another way. And keeping up with the daily forecast is also advised.
Second, this one seems obvious, but get to higher ground. Know where that is before a watch is issued and most importantly, make sure that route does not take you through any low-lying areas.
Don’t cross a road with water flowing over it. Yes, even the heaviest of vehicles could get swept up in less than two inches of water. So, turn around and don’t drown.
In the same vein, avoid standing water on roadways. You just don’t know what’s under it and hitting a large puddle at a high speed could spell death.
And please slow down!
There are a lot of health issues immediately following a flood and some more in-depth safety tips that can be found in the Flood Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross.