Flood safety: Turn around, don’t drown

Local News

Flooding is once again one of the main stories across the entire country. The year 2018, for some areas of the United States, was a record setting year for rain and 2019 is not slowing down. We are only halfway through the year and the National Weather Service in Binghamton has already recorded 19.86 inches of rain since the first of January. The normal value to the date is 17.21 inches, they have recorded 2.5 inches over the normal value so far. With the forecast for this week calling for more rain, flooding is a huge concern that we take very seriously. 

According to the National Weather Service, flooding is the number one weather related killer in the United States and can happen very quickly. Long periods of rain will cause flooding, especially along rivers, and that flooding causes devastation to thousands every year. For a storm to be defined a “severe thunderstorm,” it must contain wind speeds of at least 58 mph and have hail size of at least 1 inch. Nowhere in the definition of a severe thunderstorm is flooding mentioned. 

Flash floods often occur during severe thunderstorms and are called that for a reason, they can happen very quickly with little to no warning in some cases. Roadways with improper drainage systems can flood with heavy rain within minutes and become impassable. 

The NWS and the 18 Storm Team want to offer some tips regarding flood safety and what you should do if you are caught off guard. 

  • Get to higher ground and away from low-lying areas
  • Avoid coastlines of any bodies of water. 
  • If you are driving and get caught in heavy rain, keep your headlights on and windshield wipers moving. Slow down and stop if you feel uncomfortable driving with the low visibility.
  • If you come across a flooded road way do NOT attempt to drive through it. Vehicles can float with a very insignificant amount of water and if the water is rapidly moving that could become deadly very fast. Turn around, don’t drown.
  • Never wade through flooded water, it often contains toxic waste and could contain large pieces of debris. Also, fast moving water will knock you off balance easily and sweep you away. 

The 18 Storm Team is dedicated to keeping the Twin Tiers safe from any severe weather that pose a threat to live and property. When severe weather hits, be sure to tune into 18 News to get the latest watches, warnings, and coverage from the 18 Storm Team. 

Stick with the 18 Storm Team for the latest during severe weather: 

Chief Meteorologist Shelby Clark:  Facebook | Twitter

Meteorologist Dylan DeBruyn: Facebook  I  Twitter

Meteorologist Jessica Camuto: Facebook  I  Twitter

Meteorologist Austin Evans: Facebook  I  Twitter

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