National Weather Service issues Flash Flood Watch
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD – The National Weather Service has issued a FLASH FLOOD WATCH for Anne Arundel County starting Friday afternoon and lasting until Saturday afternoon. The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the weather conditions and urging County residents to be alert to changing weather conditions and prepared for possible flash flooding as the storm system moves through the area. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for flash flooding to occur.
This weather system has the potential to bring over three inches of rainfall to the county, with locally higher amounts. Heavy rainfall may result in rapid rises in streams and creek, which can quickly result in flooding. Flash floods more often occur in mountain streams, hilly areas or low- lying areas, although flooding does happen in urban and suburban areas of Anne Arundel County, as well. Flash floods can occur even though it's not raining where you are. It may be raining hard farther upstream and raining so hard that the water cannot be absorbed into the ground.
- If a Flash Flood Warning is issued, act immediately
Don't wait for high water to dictate your course of action.
- Know your location when you are driving.
If you needed rescue, would you be able to direct emergency crews to your location? Distracted driving can lead to a situation where you are stranded and unable to direct emergency crews to you. Be alert!
Never drive through a flooded road or bridge. Back up and try a different route
It only takes less than a foot of water to incapacitate a vehicle. It may stall, leaving you stranded, and depending on the level of water, you may not be able to open a vehicle door. Do not underestimate the power of moving water.
Stay on high ground
If your car is trapped, get out if you can safety do so. Move to higher ground. If you're driving through a hilly area or place that is subject to flooding along a stream and hear a Flash Flood Warning, go to high ground. Never try to outrun a flash flood.
Watch for flooding at bridges and dips in the road
Never drive where water is over bridges or roads; turn around! The bridges or the road could suddenly be washed out. If you're driving at night be especially careful. Often, visibility is limited due to wind and rain. If you should drive into water, don't try to drive out of it. Get out of the car and safely return to higher ground.
Often, what you cannot see below the surface of the water is far more dangerous than the high levels of that water. Remember that rocks, tree limbs and other debris can be caught in moving water and can be dangerous if you are forced to walk, wade or swim through flood waters. If you have to walk or wade through flood water, use a stick to poke the ground in front of you with each step. It can help you determine water levels, the bottom surface and the safest possible way to get to higher ground. Remember that flash floods can come without warning, and sometimes without weather. Be alert and heed all warnings and recommendations from officials.
From FEMA's website, some further information about driving through flooded roadways:
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-ups. TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN!