Preparedness Week: What to do when it floods

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Welcome to the end of the work week and our final topic for severe weather preparedness week: flooding.  We know from experience here in central Indiana that flooding and flash flooding can happen very easily in our area.  Even back in December, we experienced significant river flooding due to heavy rain and melting snow.  And that threat for flooding will not end as severe weather season arrives.

Flood Safety Tips

  • Monitor your NOAA weather radio or the Fox 59 weather team for weather information
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground.  Avoid areas that typically flood
  • Avoid areas already flooded and never attempt to drive through water covered roads
  • Don’t drive around barriers that warm you that the road is flooded
  • If your vehicle is suddenly caught by rising water, leave it immediately and see higher ground
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams if there is a threat for flooding

Here are some flooding terms you should know:

Flood Watch: A flood or flash flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding or flash flooding to develop.

Flash Flood Warning: A warning is issued when rapid flooding is imminent.  Flash floods develop quickly, often within 6 hours of very heavy rainfall.

Urban/Small Stream Flood Advisory: This is typically issued as a flood statement by the NWS.  They are issued when minor flooding problems can be expected within a town are near small streams. These streams quickly rise out of their banks when heavy rain falls.

Flood Warning: These warnings as issued for river flooding or if there is flooding expected over a widespread area.  River flooding can last for days so these warnings will be out for several days if not longer than a week.

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