FIRST STORM of DECEMBER, 2007

Ginny 2007.12.03 16:32 조회 수 : 29880 추천:154



It is Monday, December 3, and many residents of Western Washington and Oregon are experiencing the severe storm that came today.  This storm 'followed on the heels' of another, colder weather front which brought inches of snow to many of the same communities on Saturday and Sunday. In the Cascade mountain range, precipitation which comes usually as rain, instead came as snow! Then the quick change in air temperatures brought the snow down from the mountains. This swelled the rivers, lakes, and streams in the Pacific Northwest beyond their banks.  Residential areas are also being flooded by burgeoning drainage water.  These conditions 'spell disaster' for properties in low-lying areas.    

This is not new to the Western Washington and Oregon regions.  Flooding can occur when streams and rivers flow over their banks, when dams or levees break, when deep cover snow melts, or any time there is rainfall of significant duration or intensity (also called "heavy"). Certainly flooding is costly and disruptive to communities and individuals' livelihood.  But ALWAYS Put your personal and family's safety first!

FOLLOW THESE VALUABLE GUIDELINES FOR DRIVING IN FLOODED AREAS:

Because "Flash floods" can come rapidly and unexpectedly, always exercise CAUTION when driving.  Remember: you may not have warning that flooding is coming.  

Remember: DO NOT DRIVE through flooded areas.  OBEY ALL ROAD BLOCK SIGNS, and if you see a flooded-out roadway ahead, TURN AROUND!  Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, DO NOT ATTEMPT CROSSING A FLOODED ROAD. Some reasons for this are that water can conceal dips, or conceal DAMAGED ROADWAYS. Floodwaters can wash away an entire road surface and a significant amount of ground. If no other route is available, drive to HIGHER GROUND and wait until waters subside.

If your vehicle stalls when driving through water, ABANDON IT immediately and climb to higher ground.  Water that is only SIX (6)INCHES DEEP will reach the bottom of most cars, and could cause losing control of the vehicle, or stalling the engine of the vehicle.  In only ONE FOOT OF WATER, many vehicles will FLOAT!  ONLY TWO (2) feet of rushing water can CARRY AWAY most vehicles INCLUDING S.U.V.'s and PICKUPS!  THIS IS A SERIOUS DANGER WHICH SHOULD NEVER BE RISKED.

According to Washington's Department of Health, certain preparations can be made when a flood is forewarned:

* Plan for EVACUATION including where you are going to go and the route you will follow.

* Prepare your home for a flood. Call your local building department or office of emergency management to obtain information.

* Keep all insurance policies and a list of valuable items in a safe place AWAY from any area that may flood (a safety deposit box is suitable).

* Take photos or a videotape of the VALUABLES you keep in your home.

* Tune into your radio; and check the internet for reports of flood danger.

* Keep your car filled with gas.

IF YOUR HOME or BUSINESS HAS BEEN FLOODED:

*TURN OFF THE UTILITIES until emergency OFFICIALS tell you IT IS SAFE TO TURN THEM BACK ON.

*Do not pump the basement out until floodwater recedes.

*AVOID WEAKENED FLOORS, WALLS and ROOFTOPS.

*WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY WITH WARM, SOAPY WATER if you are near FLOOD WATERS to prevent infection or other maladies.

IN ANY FLOODED AREA:
*STAY AWAY from downed power lines.
*STAY AWAY from moving water! Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.  
*STAY AWAY from flooded/disaster areas unless authorities ask for volunteers.

After a flood recedes, follow these important instructions:

"*Wear gloves and boots when cleaning up.
*Open all doors and windows. Use fans if possible to air out the building.
*Wash all clothes and linens in hot water.
*Discard mattresses and stuffed furniture. They can't be adequately cleaned."

Additional instructions can be found at the state Department of Health website.

Although this is the region's first December storm, PREPARE for the possibility of future stormy weather.  And don't delay ASKING for HELP or INFORMATION.  

May you BE SAFE tonight!