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County Executive Leopold Urges Residents to Heed Flood Safety Precautions

Motorists should avoid standing water

Annapolis (August 18, 2010) - County Executive John R. Leopold today urged residents to observe storm safety tips as flooding is expected today.

“Flooding makes for dangerous road conditions and property damage, so we ask that citizens protect their homes and use caution on the roadways,” County Executive Leopold said.  “Standing water can be very dangerous, so turn around instead of driving into standing water.  As little as six inches of water can make you lose control of your vehicle.”

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for today for Central Maryland, and is calling for more rain throughout the afternoon.  Stream rises will be slow and flash flooding is not expected, but a warning means flooding is imminent or has been reported.

Please note the following safety tips:

Act Now To Be Prepared

• Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
• Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water.  Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
• Plan arrangements for your pets.
• Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
• Keep your automobile fueled. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.

The Hidden Danger - Low-Water Crossing

• Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related. When driving during flood conditions, look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas.
• Even the largest and heaviest of vehicles will float. Two feet of water will carry most cars away.
• As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Do not drive through flowing water.
• A hidden danger awaits motorists where a road without a bridge dips across a creek bed.
• Motorists develop false confidence when they normally or frequently pass through a dry low-water crossing.
• Road beds may have been scoured or even washed away during flooding creating unsafe driving conditions.

During the Flood

• Monitor the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Weather Radio or your local radio and TV station broadcasts for information.
• If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly.
• If directed to a specific location, go there.
• Know where the shelters are located.
• Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
• Disconnect electrical appliances. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
• If you are told to shut off water, gas, or electrical services before leaving, do so.
• Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.

Travel With Care

• Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
• Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.
• Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sightsee.
• As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
• Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
• Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
• DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
• DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car.
• If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.


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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000