Safety Tips for Spring Flooding Plan to be safe

Snow lovers and snow haters alike will remember the winter storms of 2016-17.

We saw several storms that delivered snow measured in feet. We also experienced warm temperatures that reduced the snowpack and opened some rivers and streams.
Warm temperatures in February had emergency managers concerned with flooding.

The State of Maine River Flow Advisory Commission meets annually to discuss conditions, review protocols, and prepare for potential flooding events. They consider factors such as "stream flow, long-term weather forecasts, snowpack, river ice conditions and reservoir levels. (RFAC, 2017)" Commission members know that "rainfall is the driver of flooding events."

The RLAC considers snow depth and moisture content for flooding potential.

Emergency managers hope for cool nights and warm days for gradual melting and runoff.

The Androscoggin River is affected by flows from the Swift River and Nezinscot River.

Don't be a flooding statistic.

Standing water in the road may be a sign a culvert is plugged or can't handle the flow. The pavement could be undermined. Just a few inches of flowing water can sweep a person off their feet. Most cars can be swept away in 18" to 24".

Stay high and dry. Never step into a flooded basement if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords. The water could be energized and could shock or electrocute you.

Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can't reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.

Up to 40% of businesses never recover after experiencing a major disaster. Is your business properly covered?

Happy spring. Bee safe!

Prepared by Androscoggin Unified Emergency Management Agency

Credits:

Photos by Randall Berry, Androscoggin EMA

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