Flash Flooding appears to be an ever-increasing phenomenon that we have to contend with here in Ireland.
After the recent period of dry weather followed by the heavy rain over the last number of days there is an increased risk for flash flooding. Land dried out in the baking sun will struggle to absorb the rain water and as the ground gradually becomes saturated the ground will struggle to absorb it all.
In the USA, the National Weather Service uses the slogan ‘Turn Around Don’t Drown’™ to warn people of the dangers of floodwaters.
Take these 7 steps to stay safe during flash floods:
1. Check the weather forecast if you are planning on driving.
2. In areas prone to flooding make adequate preparations and prepare your emergency kit.
3. If flooding occurs get to high ground, avoiding dips, low spots etc
4. Stay away from floodwaters, if the flowing water is up to your ankles stop turn around:
-150mm of flowing water can sweep you off your feet
-Floodwaters may be contaminated by sewerage of other hazardous materials
5. If you must wade into standing floodwaters wear appropriate clothing to protect you from contaminates. Always use a stick or similar to test the ground in front of you, there may be sudden unseen changes of depth e.g. manhole covers can be lifted by the force of flood waters.
6. Keep children away floodwaters, they may not be able to appreciate the dangers of fast flowing water or contaminated water.
7. Beware when driving:
-Flooding can occur very quickly on roads, which can cause a vehicle to aquaplane and lose control
-During heavy rainfall if visibility is impaired pull over when safe to do so
-If you come across a flooded roadway turn around and take a different route
-Remember fast flowing water can sweep your vehicle away
-For further information consult the AA Ireland Website By Kieran Meehan