National Weather Service Flood Advice

Tue June 18, 2024 9:10 a.m.

Parts of Niagara County experienced torrential rains – and subsequent flooding – Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service posts flood safety information on its website. It offers:

During a flood

During a flood, water levels and water flow can change quickly. Stay vigilant and monitor local radio and television channels. Avoid floodwaters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water begins to rise. Do not wait before it’s too late !

•Stay informed: Listen to radio and television, including NOAA Weather Radio if possible, check the internet and social media for information and updates.

• Access higher ground: If you live in a flood-prone area or are camping in a low-lying area, move to higher ground immediately.

•Obey evacuation orders: If you are asked to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your house when you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.

•Practice electrical safety: Do not enter a basement or room if water covers electrical outlets or cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, popping, or popping sounds, get out! Stay away from water that may contain electricity!

•Avoid flood waters: Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you over. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest point possible and call 911 if possible. Do not driving on flooded roads or driving around a barricade; turn around, don’t drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and hide hazards such as sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc. A vehicle caught in fast-moving water can be swept away in seconds: 12 inches of water can float a car. or a small SUV, 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

After a flood

When floodwaters recede, the damage left behind can be devastating and pose many dangers. Images of flood destruction show destroyed homes and buildings, damaged property and decimated roads. However, what you can’t see can be just as dangerous. Floodwaters are often contaminated with sewage or chemicals. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly, but are not obvious at first glance.

•Stay informed: Stay tuned to your local news for up-to-date information on road conditions. Make sure the water is safe, drinkable or clean after a flood. Authorities may ask you to boil water for a certain period of time after a flood. Utility companies often have apps to notify you when service returns. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a leading cause of death after storms when areas experience power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Check generator safety.

•Avoid flood waters: Stagnant water hides many dangers, including toxins and chemicals. There may be sharp objects underwater or the road may have collapsed. If your home is likely to be flooded, don’t wait for an evacuation order, get out! Talk to friends and family about emergency visits. If you have pets, take them with you or place them in a safe place.

•Avoid disaster areas: Do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may interfere with rescue and other emergency operations.

• Be aware of road closures and warning signs: Road closures and other warning signs are in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!

•Wait for “everything is clear”: Do not enter a flood-damaged home or building until you have received the all-clear from authorities. If you enter a building damaged by flooding, use extreme caution. Water can cause flood collapse, ceiling fall, etc. Make sure the electrical system is turned off. Ask the power company or a qualified electrician to repair the cables. Contact your insurance agent to discuss property damage. If you have a generator, follow proper safety procedures.

•Contact your family and loved ones: Let your family and close friends know that you are okay so they can help spread the word. Sign up or search the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” list.

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