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Norwalk Warns About Flooding Dangers

Here comes the rain again – and with a flood watch in effect until Friday afternoon, the City of Norwalk is warning residents to prepare for possible flooding of rivers, streams, brooks and poor drainage areas. There is also a possibility of minor tidal flooding starting with tonight's high tides.

The National Weather Service predicts up to 2 3/4-inches of rain Thursday and Friday. The Department of Emergency Management advises:

Monitor stream and urban street flooding – If you live in an area that is prone to localized flooding, watch small streams and low-lying areas for early flooding. Make sure street catch basins are cleared.

Ensure your home is ready – Minimize water damage by elevating materials that could be damaged by limited basement flooding.

Heed evacuation requests – Follow recommended evacuation routes. Shortcuts may be blocked or dangerous.

Do not walk through flowing water – Drowning is a serious risk in flash floods. Flash flood waters move at very fast speeds and can roll boulders, sweep away cars, tear out trees, destroy buildings and wash away bridges. Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk through a flooded area, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there and solid, even where the water is not flowing.

Avoid power lines and electrical wires – Electrocution is also a major killer in floods. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.

Look before you step – After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.

Be alert for gas leaks – Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out.

Clean everything that gets wet – Floodwaters have probably picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. Spoiled food and flooded medicines and cosmetics are health hazards. When in doubt, throw them away.

Do not drive through a flooded area ­– More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Cars can be swept away in just two feet of moving water. Do not drive around road barriers. They are there for a reason. The road or bridge may be washed out or structurally unsound. If your car becomes trapped in floodwaters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.

Have you seen any flooding problems? Send an email to nchapman@mainstreetconnect.us

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