file photo by Boyd Loving
The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a Flash Flood Watch In northeast New Jersey, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Western Bergen, Western Essex, Western Passaic, and Western Union. A slow moving frontal system will bring numerous showers and thunderstorms to the region this afternoon into this evening.
Any thunderstorms will have the potential to bring torrential downpours with rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. These types of rainfall rates will cause urban and poor drainage flooding, with potential for flash flooding in areas affected by multiple successive thunderstorms. Additionally, rapid water level rises can occur on flashy small rivers and streams in basins affected by this activity.
According to the National Weather Service, more people are killed by flooding on average than by any other single severe weather hazard, including tornadoes, lightning, and hurricanes. Most of these deaths occur at night, when it is more difficult to recognize flood dangers, and when people are trapped in vehicles. Do you and your family know what to do in case of a flood?
DO NOT drive onto a flooded roadway.
DO NOT drive through flowing water.
If you approach a roadway that is flooded, TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN.
Drive with extreme caution if roads are even just wet or it is raining. You can lose control of your vehicle if hydroplaning occurs, which is when a layer of water builds up between your tires and the road, causing there to be no direct contact between your vehicle and the road.
Why is “Turn Around – Don’t Drown” so important?
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept downstream. Of these, many are preventable.
IF A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA:
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately! Act quickly to save yourself, you may not have much time.
Get out of areas that are subject to flooding and move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters. Low spots such as dips, canyons, and washes are not the places you want to be during flooding!
DO NOT camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
DO NOT drive if not necessary. If driving is necessary, do not attempt to drive over a flooded road, as the depth of the water is not always obvious, and the roadway may no longer be intact under the water. Never drive around a barricade, they are placed there for your protection! If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and move to higher ground before water sweeps you and your vehicle away.
DO NOT try to walk, swim, or play in flood water. You may not be able to determine if there are holes or submerged debris, or how quickly the water is flowing, and you may be swept away. If water is moving swiftly, as little as 6 inches of water can knock you off of your feet! There is also a danger of hazardous materials polluting the water. Also remember that water is an electrical conductor, if there are power lines down, there is a possibility of electrocution.
Always continue to monitor the situation through the National Weather Service website, your NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards, or favorite local television or radio stations
To read about more consumer tips, you can visit my website www.kevinjrooney.com. I hope these tips are useful for you and that you stay safe while the flash flood warning is in effect.
Kevin J. Rooney
Legislative District 40