Red Cross offers tips as flood waters threaten

December 23, 2013

Bob Strickley

PDT Content Manager

The weekend storm system that passed through the region caused minimal damage in Scioto County, but left in its wake flood warnings and worry for those with homes in low lying areas.

The National Weather Service issued a Flood Warning for areas along the Scioto River that will expire Thursday Morning. As of 10 a.m. Monday, the Scioto River at Piketon was at 18.9 feet according the NWS.

The Scioto River is forecasted to reach a little more than 24 feet Tuesday exceeding the flood stage of 20 feet. Projections have the river dropping below flood stage Thursday morning.

“At stages near 25 feet, flooding of several low lying roads occurs and backwater flooding poses serious problems in Pike and Scioto counties,” An NWS release said.

Ohio River levels are forecasted to be 42 feet Tuesday, 46.6 feet Wednesday and 46.4 feet Thursday.

On Sunday, Kim Carver of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency said the agency would continue to monitor water levels.

The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross Monday urged residents to take steps to stay safe when flood waters threaten.

“By preparing together for floods, we can make our families safer and our communities stronger,” says Debbie Smith, Community Chapter Executive, Ohio River Valley Chapter. “We can help you and your family create a flood preparedness plan now, before our community is threatened by excessive rainfall.”

The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for floods by:

• Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice. Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.

• Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.

• Heeding Flood Warnings: Follow your local media outlets for updated flood information. A flood WATCH means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A food WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

• Relocating During Flood Warnings: Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle, stop, turn around and go another way. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.

The Red Cross has more tips and recommendations for flood preparedness at www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood. Residents can also call 1-800-REDCROSS for information on services available during flooding.

Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 296, or bstrickley@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Bob on Twitter @rjstrickleyjr.