E-911 Director: Prepare now for floods

E-911 Director: Prepare now for floods

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Last week as much as 3-4 inches of rain fell on parts of Region 8, flooding fields and roads.

While the rain has stopped for now, it will be back again. Especially now that spring is on its way.

Flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere at any time.

Jeff Presley, director of Jonesboro's E-911 Center, knows that all too well.

"In this area we are prone to some flash flooding," Presley said. "It can happen very quick."

He says flooded roadways are one of the main dangers in our area.

"Last week during the rain we had a lot of vehicles hydroplaning and running off the roadway," Presley said. "It don't take a lot of water on the roadway to be dangerous."

He also urges people to obey barricades on flooded roads.

"They're there for a reason," he said. "Five inches of water can move a vehicle."

In addition to flooded roads, Region 8 citizens must often contend with flooded homes which come with their own set of problems.

For example, Presley says flood waters and electrical outlets pose a "danger and a hazard."

If someone believes a flooding situation is becoming dangerous, they should call 911.

"We will get some rescue out there to assess the situation," he said. "If we need to evacuate, we will do that."

Once the rains stop, there are still hazards residents need to be aware of, including mold and sewage in the home.

That's why the perfect time to prepare is now, during National Flood Safety Awareness Week.

FEMA suggests these actions to take before and after a flood:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Listen to local officials and monitor your local radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If it does, immediately move to higher ground.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to suddenly flood.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. Turn Around; Don't Drown.

For more information on preparing for floods or other disasters, visit www.ready.gov or www.news.noaa.gov.

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