Public Information Statement
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800 AM EST FRI MAR 6 2015

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina is March 1-7, 2015

Today's Topic:  Flash flood safety

Flash flooding in North Carolina usually occurs when a large amount 
of rain falls in an area over a short period of time. The ground can 
only soak up so much water in a given time...and when the rain rate 
exceeds what can infiltrate into the ground or run off into drainage 
systems or streams...flooding is likely to occur. 
Hurricanes...tropical storms...and ordinary thunderstorms can 
produce flash flooding.

More people die from floods each year than from 
tornadoes...lightning...or hurricanes. Forecasters can usually 
predict where flooding will occur when a hurricane or tropical storm 
affects an area.  However...when dealing with 
thunderstorms...predicting flash floods can be VERY DIFFICULT due to 
their isolated nature. Flash floods usually occur in low-lying areas 
where water can collect or in cities where water runoff from 
impermeable surfaces can fill roads or storm drains quickly.

In the past 10 years...flash flooding has occurred in North Carolina 
over 1000 times...amounting to damages on the order of hundreds of 
millions of dollars...and resulting in numerous fatalities.  Being 
prepared and knowing how to stay safe will help you and your loved 
ones survive a flood.

Prepare: Knowing your flood risk is the best way to prepare for 
flooding.  Determine if you live in or near locations that are prone 
to flooding.  You can find out if you live in a flood plain by 
visiting our partners at FEMA at 

Be aware: Find the latest forecasts and hazardous weather conditions 
at and  Forecasters in 
NWS offices work around the clock to ensure watches...warnings...and 
advisories are issued to alert the public to hazardous conditions. 
The same information is available on your mobile device At Most cell phones are able to receive 
flash flood warnings via the Wireless Emergency Alerts system. Visit for more 

Another tool to alert you to hazardous conditions is NOAA all 
hazards radio. This nationwide network of radio stations broadcasts 
continuous weather...river and other emergency Information direct 
from NWS offices and emergency officials. For more 

Be safe: Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related 
fatalities in the US. On average...flooding claims the lives of 89 
people in the US each year.  Most of these deaths occur in motor 
vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways.  
Many other lives are lost when people walk into flood waters.  This 
happens because people underestimate the force and power of 
water...especially when it is moving.  The good news is most 
flooding deaths are preventable with the right knowledge.

Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only 
eighteen inches of flowing water can carry away most 
vehicles...including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact 
depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below 
the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more 
limited.  It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. 
Any time you come to a flooded road...walkway...or path...follow 
this simple rule: turn around, don't drown.   

Remember these flash flood safety tips:

1. If a flash flood warning is issued for your area...or if there is 
any possibility of a flash flood...move immediately to higher 
ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.

2. Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can 
make you fall.

3. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your 
car...abandon the car and move To higher ground...when water is not 
moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can 
be swept away quickly.  If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving 
water...stay in the vehicle.  If the water is rising inside the refuge on the roof.

4.   Do not disregard or drive around traffic barricades that close 
off flooded roadways.  

5.   Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams...rivers or 
creeks...particularly during threatening conditions.

Understanding the different flood hazards and knowing the actions to 
take before...during...and afterwards can help you protect your 
life...the lives of your loved ones...and your property.  Prepare 
now by visiting  

Be sure to take some time this week to learn more about severe 
weather safety. Learning and practicing severe weather safety when 
the weather is good will allow you to react more quickly when the 
weather turns bad.   You can learn more about severe weather safety 
by visiting the North Carolina Department of Public Safety 
preparedness website at  This web page features an 
abundance of Information...and links to a free cell phone app...that 
will help you plan and prepare for the severe weather season.  


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