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Charleston, West Virginia

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National Weather Service, Charleston WV

Safety Rules
Type Definition Actions
Flash Flood/Flood Watch Flash Flooding is possible within the designated Watch area. Be alert - watch for heavy rain over a short period of time. If near a stream, monitor for significant rises.
Flash Flood/Flood Warning Flash Flooding has been reported or is imminent. Take necessary precautions at once.
  • DO NOT drive into flooded roads! If you cannot see the road because of the water, do not drive into it. There may not be any road.
  • If vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Two feet of water will float your car.
  • DO NOT move barricades! They are there for a reason.
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding.
  • DO NOT allow children to play around high water, storm drains or viaducts. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet.
Tornado Watch Conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes Be alert for approaching storms. Know your shelter options if it should become necessary to take action.
Tornado Warning A tornado has been sighted or is indicated by radar If weather becomes threatening, move to a pre-designated place of safety.
  • In a home or business, move to a basement.
  • If there is no basement, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles. DO NOT try to outrun a tornado in your car.
  • Get out of mobile homes, even if tied down.
  • If caught outside, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms Be alert for approaching storms. Have a source for weather warnings such as NOAA Weather Radio or your local media.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning Severe thunderstorms are imminent or indicated by radar. A severe thunderstorm has winds of at least 58 mph and/or hail at least 3/4" in diameter.
  • If you hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning
  • Move to a sturdy building or car
  • DO NOT take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible cars
  • Get out of boats and away from water
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity...avoid using the telephone or electrical appliances.
  • DO NOT take a bath or shower
  • Get to higher ground if flash flooding is possible
  • If caught outside, find a low spot away from trees, fences and poles

To report severe weather, call toll-free
1-877-633-6772 or email us at

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National Weather Service
400 Parkway Road
Charleston WV 25309
(304) 746-0180
Page last modified: April 18, 2013

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