Raising flood awareness before it’s too late

Weather

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR)- The National Weather Service in Binghamton kicked off their annual Flood Safety Awareness week on Monday. 

The objective is to make you more aware of the types of floods and what to do before, during and after a flood occurs.  

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Types of floods

Flash Flooding. Yes, they can happen in a flash (or in less than 6 hours). We’ve seen flash flooding in CNY after series of storms brought heavy rain. In January 2019, some areas across the Finger Lakes received more than 5” of rain in a day causing flash flooding. 

Tropical Systems. Although we are a good distance away from the coast, we’ve seen massive tropical storms and hurricanes bring torrential rain to CNY. Remember in September 2011 when portions of Cortland, Tompkins and Chenango County say more than 7” of rain in two days?

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Image courtesy of the National Weather Service showing the amount of rain that fell from the remnants of Lee between September 6, 2011 and September 8, 2011.

River Flooding. It happens when the water rises and flows over their banks. It can happen after heavy rain, ice jams and rapid snowmelt. It can also happen on any river in CNY. There are three stages, minor, moderate and major. Although the Storm Team will monitor these stages for you, you can look at current and forecast river levels around New York and the United States here

Know the difference between a Watch and a Warning

A Warning means flooding is happening now, you need to take action. A Watch means there is potential for flooding to happen, you need to prepare.

Latest Weather Alerts

Before a Flood

  • Be aware of the latest forecast
  • Have an emergency kit with non-perishables, batteries, cleaning supplies, medicine, water, flashlight
  • Make sure emergency alerts/notifications are enabled
  • Prepare your home/family/pets
  • Charge electronics
  • If it’s likely your home will flood, LEAVE

During a Flood

  • Stay tuned to the latest conditions/forecast
  • Get to higher ground
  • Avoid flood waters and electrical outlets/cords

Never drive through flood waters. It only takes 6” of fast-moving water to knock an adult off their feet, 12” of fast moving water to move a small car. Keep in mind you don’t know how deep flood waters really are or the condition of the road below. 

After a Flood

  • Get the latest information to know what’s safe and what isn’t
  • Avoid flood waters and disaster areas
  • Wait for the “all clear” before entering damaged building

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