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The National Weather Service in New York State has declared March 13 through 19, 2016 as Flood Safety Awareness Week.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton will feature information about a different flood topic each day during the awareness week.

Today's topic: Monday March 14, 2016

Flood Safety - Preparedness And Awareness

Nearly everyday, flooding happens somewhere in the United States or its territories. Flooding can occur in any of the fifty states or U.S. territories at any time of the year. It causes more damage in the united states than any other weather related event. On average, floods cause eight billion dollars in damages and eighty nine fatalities annually. Being prepared and knowing how to stay safe will help you and your loved ones survive a flood.

September 2011 Flooding in Binghamton, NY

Prepare:

Knowing your flood risk is the best way to prepare for flooding. Find out which flooding hazards impact your state by using the Interactive Flood Information Map. You can also find out if you live in a flood plain by visiting our partners at FEMA at https://msc.fema.gov/portal. There are many tips for what to do before, during and after a flood on our newly redesigned flood safety website at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.

Be aware:

Find the latest forecasts and hazardous weather conditions at weather.gov and water.weather.gov. Forecasters in National Weather Service 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 http://mobile.weather.gov. Some smart phones are able to receive flash flood warning alerts via the wireless emergency alerts system. For more information visit Weather Ready Nation's FAQ on Wireless Emergency Alerts.

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 National Weather Service offices and emergency officials. For more information, visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

Stay safe during a flood by knowing your risk and where to get the latest forecast and hazard information. Be a force of nature! 

Tuesday March 15, 2016

Today's topic: Turn Around Don't Drown

Turn Around Don't Drown, or TADD for short, is a NOAA National Weather Service campaign used to educate people about the hazards of driving a vehicle or walking through flood waters.

TADD Sign

 

Hundreds of signs depicting the message have been erected at low water crossings during the past decade. The phrase "Turn Around Don't Drown" has become a catchphrase in the media, classroom, and even at home. It's one thing to see or hear the phrase, and another to put it into practice.

 

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than any other thunderstorms related hazard. The center for disease control and prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream.

 

Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only twelve inches of flowing water can carry away most small cars, while twenty-four inches of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

 

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.  

 

For more information on the TADD program, visit tadd.weather.gov.

For flood safety tips, visit our newly redesigned website at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.

Wednesday March 16, 2016

Today's topic: Flood Hazards

Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to the United States and its territories in all months of the year. Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when ice or debris jam causes a river or a stream to overflow onto the surrounding area. Flooding can also be a result the failure of a water control structure, such as a levee or dam. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain and/or snowmelt that accumulates faster than soils can absord it or rivers can carry it away. Approximately seventy-five percent of all presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding. More information about these flood hazards can be found on the nws flood safety website at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.

Flash flooding: 

  • Flash flooding is floods that happen in a flash! This type of flood generally develops within six hours of the immediate cause. Causes can include heavy rain, ice or debis jams, or levee or dam failures. Flash floods are rapid rises in water level in streams or creeks above a predetermined flood level.  

Tropical Systems and Coastal Flooding:

June 1972 Hurricane Agnes Wilkes-Barre PA.

  • Coastal flooding generally occurs with a land-falling or near-land system such as a tropical storm or hurricane. Storm surge and large waves produced by hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. Tropical systems can bring copious amounts of precipitation onshore. Tropical systems are not the only type of storms that can cause coastal inundation and storm surge. All times of the year storms can impact U.S. coastal regions. Pacific storm systems and nor'easters can create devastating floods as well.  

River flooding: 

  • River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel and inundate areas that are normally dry. River flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, dam failures, rapid snowmelt and ice jams. River flooding is classified as minor, moderate, or major based on water height and impacts along the river. 
  • The three stages of river flooding are: 
    • Minor: low-lying areas adjacent to the stream or river, mainly rural areas and farmland and secondary roadways. 
    • Moderate: water levels rise high enough to impact homes and businesses near the river and some evacuations may be needed. 
    • Major: extensive rural and/or urban flooding is expected.

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 www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.

 

Thursday March 17, 2016

Today's topic: National Weather Service Water Resources

The National Weather Service homepage, www.weather.gov, provides up to date weather and water advisory, watch, and warning information for the U.S. and it's territories. However, the National Weather Service provides many additional resources to help emergency managers, public officials and private citizens make water decisions.

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS):

  • AHPS provides a suite of river and flood forecasts and water information to protect life and property and helps ensure the nation's economic well-being. water.weather.gov

Flood Inundation Mapping:Flood inundation map example.

  • The ability to look into the future to see how many city blocks and roads might be flooded is becoming clearer with flood inundation mapping. NOAA's National Weather Service and national ocean service are collaborating with the usgs, usace, fema and other partners to develop these inundation maps for flooding. weather.gov/bgm/floodinundation.

Weather Prediction Center (WPC) Precipitation Forecasts:

  • WPC provides precipitation forecasts for the entire U.S., including Puerto Rico. WPC also issues excessive rainfall forecasts, short-range discussions on heavy rainfall events, and snowfall and freezing rain probabilities. wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

National Weather Service River Forecast Centers (RFC):

The National Weather Service has a network of thirteen rfcs across the united states. These rfcs collect, process, and provide water resource and river forecasts and information for major river basins across the country. water.weather.gov/ahps/rfc/rfc.php

Flood Safety Awareness Website:

On this page, you will find information on what to do before, during and after a flood. www.floodsafety.noaa.gov

Staying aware of an evolving weather situation can help you prepare when flooding or other weather hazards impact your area. Be a force of nature!

Friday March 18, 2016

Today's topic: Partner Resources

The National Weather Service works with and relies on strategic partners involved in river observations, reservoir management, floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, and flood preparedness and safety to reduce the loss of life and property due to floods. Today we are sharing some great tools from several of our partners.

American Red Cross

Federal Alliance For Safe Homes (FLASH)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

United States Army Corps of Engineers

United States Geological Survey

The National Weather Service works with many key partners to complete the mission of protecting life and property. Some additional key partners are the National Hydrologic Warning Council, Association of State Floodplain Managers, the National Safety Council, media outlets, and many other government and private sector organizations. For more information about any of our partners, or to learn about partners local to your area, contact your local nws office.

As we wrap up the 2016 flood safety awareness week, remember, flooding can occur in any of the fifty states or U.S. territories at any time of the year. Prepare yourself, your family, and your home. Be aware of potential flooding in your area, Turn Around Don't Drown, and help make the U.S. a more Weather Ready Nation!

 

 

The weather safety topics for the remainder of the week will be as follows:

  • Monday, Preparedness and Awareness.
  • Tuesday, Turn Around Don't Drown.
  • Wednesday, Flood Hazards.
  • Thursday, National Weather Service Water Resources.
  • Friday, Partner Resources.

Use the blue tabs at the top of the page move through each day.

For more information, contact:

David Nicosia

Warning Coordination Meteorologist for NOAA's National Weather Service
Binghamton, NY 13290
Phone: 607-770-9531 x 223
Email: david.nicosia@noaa.gov
Awareness Logo containing NOAA, NWS, Building shot, NY State Logo and Skywarn logos.