What Causes Flooding?
Because of the low land elevations and the high water tables over much of our area, flooding is likely to occur in some areas during summer showers and thunderstorms. A storm with a considerable amount of rain in a short period of time will cause flooding in low-lying areas throughout the county even though the canal network and drainage ditches will alleviate some flooding.
What Protective Measures Do I Need to Take for Floods?
Protective measures are broken down into four stages:
- Preparatory Stage
- Flood Warning
- During the Flood
- After the Flood
- Keep a stock of food that requires no cooking.
- Keep a first aid kit available.
- Keep your vehicle fueled.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance for your home and belongings (Check the insurance section of this guide for further information).
- Turn to radio or television or NOAA Weather Radio for flood warnings.
- Obey warnings from emergency officials; evacuate when notice is issued.
- Know your evacuation zone and route to a place of safety.
- Know what supplies to take with you.
- Shut off electricity and water to your home prior to leaving.
- Be cautious and avoid flood prone areas when evacuating.
Steps should be taken to reduce property losses.
- Move furniture to upper floors or higher locations.
- Sandbags can help slow down flood waters from reaching your possessions.
- Retrofitting, such as building flood walls or elevating a structure is a way of minimizing loss due to flooding.
Know what your current insurance policy does and does not cover. Coverage may be subject to change with certain improvements to your home and require adherence to certain regulations.
Flood Warning Stage
- Store drinking water in sterile, covered containers.
- Move valuable objects higher. Place them on shelves, tables and countertops.
- Turn off electricity.
During The Flood Stage
- Stay on higher ground.
- Do not drive on a flooded road.
- If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Don't attempt to wade across a flowing stream that is above your knees.
- Don't allow children to play in standing water. It may be contaminated with chemicals or sewage.
After The Flood Stage
- Do not eat fresh food that has come into contact with floodwater.
- Drink only bottled or previously stored water.
- Stay away from disaster areas. You may hamper rescue recovery operations.
- Do not handle live electrical equipment.
- Report downed power lines to the local law enforcement authorities.
- Keep tuned to local radio and television stations for instructions on how to obtain medical care and emergency assistance such as water, food, clothing, shelter and updated weather reports and conditions.
The County maintains drainage channels and ditches for storm water management purposes. The Public Works Department maintains them on a regular basis. These drainage systems are vitally important and should be kept free of debris and litter. State law prohibits dumping in these waterways. Violations should be reported to your local Sheriff's Office.