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FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

 

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Write: 1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

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What Causes flooding......

Flooding occurs in known floodplains when prolonged rainfall over several days, intense rainfall over a short period of time, or an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow and flood the surrounding area. Melting snow can combine with rain in the winter and early spring; severe thunderstorms can bring heavy rain in the spring and summer; or tropical cyclones can bring intense rainfall to the coastal and inland states in the summer and fall.

Flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event, or after a dam or levee failure, or following a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam, and flash floods can catch people unprepared. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. So if you live in areas prone to flash floods, plan now to protect your family and property.

As land is converted from fields or woodlands to roads and parking lots, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall. Urbanization increases runoff two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain. During periods of urban flooding, streets can become swift moving rivers, while basements and viaducts can become death traps as they fill with water.

Several factors contribute to flooding. Two key elements are rainfall intensity and duration. Intensity is the rate of rainfall, and duration is how long the rain lasts. Topography, soil conditions, and ground cover also play important roles. Most flash flooding is caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms repeatedly moving over the same area, or heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms. Floods, on the other hand, can be slow- or fast-rising, but generally develop over a period of hours or days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your residence is in a flood-prone area:

  • Fill bathtubs, sinks, and plastic bottles with clean water. Water may become contaminated or service may be interrupted.

  • Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors. Unsecured items may be swept away and damaged by flood waters.

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. If flood waters affect your home, higher floors are less likely to receive damage.

  • If you are instructed by local authorities, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve. In some areas, local authorities may advise you to turn off utilities to prevent further damage to homes and the community.

  • Get your preassembled disaster supplies ready. You may need to act quickly. Having your supplies ready will save time.

  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.

  • Be prepared to evacuate. Local officials may ask you to leave if they truly feel your home is at risk from flood waters.

  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc., can become filled with water.

  • If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there. Move away from dangerous flood waters.

  • If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Never try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. Most flood fatalities are caused by people attempting to drive through water, or people playing in high water. If it is moving swiftly, even water six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.


 

Last modified: December 13, 2003

 

 

Driving in flood conditions

  • Avoid already flooded areas, and areas subject to sudden flooding. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Most flood fatalities are caused by people attempting to drive through water, or people playing in high water. The depth of water is not always obvious. The roadbed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped. Rapidly rising water may stall the engine, engulf the vehicle and its occupants, and sweep them away. Look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges, and low areas. Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles.

  • If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find another route. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. If your route is blocked by flood waters or barricades, find another route. Barricades are put up by local officials to protect people from unsafe roads. Driving around them can be a serious risk.

  • If your vehicle becomes surrounded by water or the engine stalls, and if you can safely get out, abandon your vehicle immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles. When a vehicle stalls in the water, the water's momentum is transferred to the car. The lateral force of a foot of water moving at 10 miles per hour is about 500 pounds on the average automobile. The greatest effect is buoyancy--for every foot that water rises up the side of a car, it displaces 1,500 pounds of the car's weight. So, two feet of water moving at 10 miles per hour will float virtually any car. Many persons have been swept away by flood waters upon leaving their vehicles, which are later found without much damage. Use caution when abandoning your vehicle, and look for an opportunity to move away quickly and safely to higher ground.

OFFICE HOURS

 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Telephone 973-728-2840

 

 

 

Township of West Milford OEM

 

To send email to Emergency Services please click here:  fireoffice@westmilford.org

Mailing Address:  1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

Site location:  13 Edgar Drive West Milford NJ 07480