(WETM) – During the past seven days, the Twin Tiers have seen an increase in flash flooding and pooling water, causing severe damage to homes and vehicles. The excessive rain has caused the ground to become extremely saturated, increasing the risk of rapid flooding.
In July 2021, the Elmira Corning Regional Airport reported more than 3.5 inches of rain, and half of that precipitation fell during the last week. In July 2020, the area had an average of 1.5 inches of rain. The rainfall rate has nearly doubled from this time last year.
Officials say it is important to be weather aware and know when dangerous weather conditions are forecasted. A few inches of rushing or pooling water could pose a threat to safety or cause damage.
“If you’re driving in you come up upon water across the road Turn Around, Don’t Drown. It’s that simple,” Jeff Gray of Chemung County Emergency Management said.
It is also important to prepare for flooding and have a plan. After checking the forecast or learning about a flash flood warning, there are a few important steps to take to remain safe.
“Keep your cell phone charged. If you have to go, make sure you have a “go bag” with bottled drinking water, dry clothes, blankets, and rain gear,” Gray continued.
While water may not look dangerous, it can be misleading. For example, if there is pooling water on a roadway, do not drive through it because the road could be washed away or eroded beneath the surface. At home, increased precipitation could cause the ground to soften and cause foundation problems.
“Even with standing water, it softens up the soil. Depending on how sturdy the foundation is, it can give way. A few inches can sweep a car away,” Gray added.
As this tropical weather pattern continues, stick with 18 News and the 18 Storm Team on-air, online, and on our apps for news and weather for the latest alerts.