Watch out for flooded roads

This week, Ohio was soaked with nearly 1.25 inches of rain in one day on top of already saturated conditions. Cleveland received 1.5 inches of rain. Columbus, nearly 2 inches, and Cincinnati broke precipitation records with nearly 3 inches of rain in a day.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s BuckeyeTraffic.org, several major roadways are currently closed due to flooding. Safety experts urge motorists to be careful when approaching a flooded road. Never drive through flooded roadways and never drive around barriers warning of flooded roads. It only takes two feet of water to float away most vehicles, and many deaths have resulted from attempts to drive through flooded roadways.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency recommends the following safety measures during a flood warning:

* Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or television station to receive current weather and emergency information. If your area is advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

* Have a disaster supply kit for the home and a “to-go” kit ready, in case you need to evacuate. Kits should include: battery-operated radio, flashlight, first-aid kit, prescribed medications, clothing, rain gear, nonperishable food/high-energy snakes, bottled water, cell phone, battery charger, emergency contact list and hygiene supplies. For a complete list of preparedness kits, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website at: www.weathersafety.ohio.gov

* Evacuation is easier and safer before flood waters block your escape. Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads. And when evacuating, secure your home. Turn off utilities and disconnect electrical appliances.

* Never attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters.

* Report power outages and downed power lines to your utility provider.

* Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gas or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.

* For additional information on flood safety and preparedness, visit the following websites:

Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness: www.weathersafety.ohio.gov

ReadyOhio: www.ready.ohio.gov. Click on Are You Ready for FLOODS

National Weather Service: www.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/

FEMA’s Ready Campaign: www.ready.gov/floods.

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