Public Information Statement

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
815 AM CST THU FEB 23 2006


...TODAY IS FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD AWARENESS DAY....


SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK CONTINUES TODAY WITH A CLOSER
LOOK AT FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD SAFETY.  ALABAMA RESIDENTS FALL
VICTIM TO THESE DANGEROUS PHENOMENA EACH YEAR.  GENERAL RIVER
FLOODING OCCURS WHEN HEAVY RAINS AND RUNOFF FILL RIVER BASINS
WITH TOO MUCH WATER TOO QUICKLY.  FLASH FLOODS OCCUR SUDDENLY
AND USUALLY WITHIN HOURS OF EXCESSIVE LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINFALL.
THESE FLASH FLOODS CAN BECOME RAGING TORRENTS WHICH RIP THROUGH
NEIGHBORHOODS...STREETS...OR VALLEYS DESTROYING WHATEVER IS
IN THEIR PATHS.


WHEN CONDITIONS LOOK FAVORABLE FOR FLASH FLOODING...THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE WILL ISSUE A FLOOD WATCH HIGHLIGHTING FLASH
FLOOD POTENTIAL IN AND AROUND THE SPECIFIED AREA.  STAY WEATHER ALERT
BY LISTENING TO YOUR NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS OR TO LOCAL
BROADCAST MEDIA FOR FURTHER WEATHER UPDATES.  THIS IS THE TIME
TO START THINKING ABOUT YOUR PLAN OF ACTION IF WATER BEGINS
TO RISE OR A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED.


WHEN A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR COUNTY...YOU MUST
ACT QUICKLY AS FLASH FLOODS ARE AN IMMINENT THREAT TO YOU AND
YOUR FAMILY.  YOU MAY ONLY HAVE SECONDS TO MOVE TO HIGHER
GROUND.


HERE ARE SOME FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD SAFETY RULES...


DURING PERIODS OF HEAVY RAINS...STAY AWAY FROM KNOWN FLOOD
AREAS SUCH AS STREAM BEDS...DRAINAGE DITCHES...AND CULVERTS.
MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IF FLOODING THREATENS YOUR AREA.  HEAVY
RAIN SHOULD BE A SIGNAL ALERTING YOU TO THE POSSIBILITY OF
DANGEROUS FLOOD CONDITIONS.  IF YOU LIVE OR WORK IN KNOWN
FLOOD PRONE AREAS...REMAIN ALERT DURING PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN.


NEVER DRIVE YOUR CAR INTO WATER OF UNKNOWN DEPTH.  MOST FLASH
FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR WHEN PEOPLE DRIVE THEIR VEHICLES INTO FLOOD
WATERS.  JUST REMEMBER...TURN AROUND DON`T DROWN.  IF YOUR
VEHICLE STALLS...ABANDON IT IMMEDIATELY AND SEEK HIGHER GROUND.
FLOOD WATER MAY RISE VERY QUICKLY AND COULD COVER THE VEHICLE
AND SWEEP IT AWAY.  BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT AS IT IS
HARDER TO RECOGNIZE FLOOD DANGERS.


STAY OUT OF FLOODED AREAS.  THE WATER MAY STILL BE RISING...
AND IT IS USUALLY VERY SWIFT.  A RAPIDLY FLOWING STREAM OR
DITCH CAN SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET OR SWEEP YOUR VEHICLE
DOWNSTREAM.  CHILDREN ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE AND SHOULD
NOT BE ALLOWED TO PLAY IN OR AROUND FLOWING WATER.  WATER CAN
ALSO RUN OFF STREETS AND PARKING LOTS VERY RAPIDLY...CAUSING
NATURAL AND MAN MADE DRAINAGE SYSTEMS TO OVERFLOW WITH RUSHING
FLOOD WATERS.  FLOOD WATERS CAN HIDE ROCKS...TREES...TRASH...
AND OTHER TYPES OF DEBRIS THAT CAN BE DANGEROUS TO SOMEONE IN
THEIR PATHS.  WATER IS A VERY POWERFUL FORCE AND SHOULD NEVER BE
UNDERESTIMATED.


IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT FLOOD AND FLASH
FLOOD AWARENESS...CONTACT THE BIRMINGHAM NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE AT (205) 664-3010.


TOMORROW...FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24...WE WILL HIGHLIGHT NOAA WEATHER
RADIO ALL HAZARDS AND THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM.  FOR ADDITIONAL
DETAILS CONCERNING SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK...PLEASE VISIT
BIRMINGHAM`S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE WEBSITE AT
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX.
$$
JBW

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