CENTRAL ILLINOIS- As Severe Weather Preparedness Week is wrapping up, flood safety is the final topic to go over. Although Flood threats usually occur during the Spring and Summer months, WAND wants to make sure you are ready now because flooding has happened in Illinois during every month of the year.
A flash flood is a rapid rise in creeks or streams, or serious urban flooding, caused by heavy rain from thunderstorms. Flooding poses a serious threat to life and property. Most flood related deaths occur in vehicles. NEVER drive around barricades or across flooded roads, especially if the water is quickly moving. Flooded or washed out roads are difficult to see at night. Keep in mind it only takes eighteen to twenty-four inches of water to cause most vehicles to float, tip over, and submerge in the water. Back up, turn around, and take a different road, even if that means your new route will take longer; nothing is worth risking you or your family's life over. Macon County EMA Director, Jim Root, tells WAND that major flooding resulted in one fatality years ago and several injuries. Such flooding at this scale is rare in Central Illinois, but it does happen.
NEVER let children play near storm drains, creeks, or flooded areas, as the water can easily knock them off their feet or can be contaminated. If you live near a creek or stream, evacuate to higher ground if the water rises rapidly or if a Flash Flood Warning is issued for your area.
Urban flooding is also dangerous. Heavy rain that results in flooding streets and underpass can create major problems for motorists. Heavy rain can also result in basement flooding, ponding of water in low spots, and rapid flooding of storm sewer systems.
National Flood Safety Awareness Week runs from March 17th through the 21st. More information can be found at weather.gov/floodsafety.
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