Not all floods are alike. There are actually three main varieties of floods to watch for if you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding -- like in the Bronxville, NY 10708 area. This includes river floods, flash floods and coastal flooding along the Long Island Sound, in our region.
I did some research for all of us on what to look for, thanks to the CDC and National Flood sites. This may help our local communities, during unpredictable spring weather this year:
River Flooding Damage ~
The type of flooding that is known as river flooding is a high flow or overflow of water that usually develops slowly, often over a period of days along a river, creek or stream. River floods can result from a variety of causes, including spring rains that fill river basins too quickly.
Flash Flood Damage
This is kind of a quick-rising flood that is powerful enough to sweep away cars and trucks, roll boulders into roadways, uproot trees, level buildings and dislodge bridges from their piers. I'm a little worried about the 20-30mph winds predicted for next week, after rains soak our local tree roots. Remember when the trees came down in 2010?
These floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud and other debris, and they sometimes develop very quickly (sometimes in just minutes) without any visible signs of rain. Remember the rains of 2010 that cut power and flooded local homes and businesses in Bronxville, NY? Contact restoration companies like us, if you have any water or flood issues and are worried about mold growth in your Bronxville, NY 10708 home or business.
Coastal Flooding ~
When onshore winds push water onto land from an ocean, bay or inlet, it causes local flooding in areas like the lower Hudson valley. This may be caused by the storm surges that accompany hurricanes and non-tropical storms -- like our occasional nor'easters.
Some flooding can occur when a dam or river levee is broken or breached, producing effects similar to flash flooding. Even small, seemingly harmless creeks and streams can flood. Though it is critical to be aware of flood hazards no matter where you are, those living near water ”“ near a river flood plain, downstream from a dam, or near the ocean ”“ should be especially vigilant for floods.
Preparing for a Flood ~
Weather factors you need to watch for, to prepare for a flood:
· Unusually heavy rain over several hours, or steady, substantial rain over a period of several days -- like the weather on the way to us this week!
· Rains that occur in conjunction with a spring thaw
· Hurricanes or tropical storms that impact our area
· Rapidly rising water in rivers and streams in our area
Protect your Family and Home ~
Make a plan to prepare and protect the people and things that you value most, before a flood occurs (insurance paperwork, your contractors list for repairs, plus banking and birth certificates / IDs, cash and address books, etc).
· Decide where you and your family will go in the event of a flood ”“ whether you're at home, at work, at school, outdoors or in a car.
· Assemble a family disaster and emergency supplies kit.
· Take photographs of your valuables and store them in a fire- and waterproof safe. Also use the safe to store important documents such as birth certificates, ownership documentation for cars and boats, Social Security cards, insurance policies and wills.
· Check your homeowner's insurance to confirm your coverage in case your home is damaged or destroyed. Many homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage related to flooding and high winds. Check with your insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program for more information.
· Locate and mark where utility switches and valves are in your home so they can be turned off in an emergency, if time allows.
· Familiarize yourself with the emergency action plans at your school or workplace and identify the appropriate officials and emergency management agencies in your area, with contact information and phone numbers.
· Make sure to charge your mobile phone, laptop and other mobile device batteries.
Make Home Improvements to Reduce the Loss of property and belongings in a flood damage ~
· Consider installing check valves in your plumbing to prevent flood water back-up and moving your appliances to higher ground to prevent costly replacements.
· Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris and make sure your yard's grading (slope) directs water away from the building.
· Anchor fuel tanks. An unanchored tank can be torn free by floodwaters, and the broken supply line can cause contamination, or if outdoors, can be swept downstream and damage other homes.
· Buy and install sump pumps with backup power where needed. Regularly check to make sure they are working.
· Cut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be underwater.
· If you have time to hire a licensed electrician: Raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
· Place all appliances, including furnace, water heater, washer and dryer on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
· Stockpile emergency building materials. See the recommended building materials listed in your Disaster Supply Kit.
· Be realistic about the use of sand bags. It takes one person an hour to fill and properly place 50 bags, but it may take as many as 1,000 sand bags to create a strong wall only three feet high and 20 feet long.
Be Alert for Floods ~
To ensure you receive all of the latest weather updates during a flood, you'll need more than one reliable source of weather information. We recommend the following:
· Sign up for The Weather Channel Alerts app, on your mobile phone and/or via email. Receive all our alerts by signing up here.
· Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, which broadcasts all of the latest weather updates as well as storm watches and warnings for your area. Learn more at the NOAA Weather Radio site.
· Make sure you have fresh batteries for your radio(s) and flashlights, in case your home loses power.
· Learn the difference between a flash flood watch and warning as well as a flood watch and warning.
Fact About Floods ~
· Roughly two-thirds of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Most occur when drivers make a single, fatal mistake trying to drive through floodwaters.
· Just 6 inches of moving water is enough to knock a person down.
· Two feet of moving water is enough to float a large SUV or even a bus.
· When roads and bridges are flooded, they often become un-passable and often collapse when drivers attempt to cross them during a flood.
Keep an eye on the sky in the next few weeks, Rainmakers, and remember to be careful driving in high winds and take your umbrella!