PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
300 PM CDT WED MAY 27 2009

...HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK...INLAND FLOODING...

STATISTICALLY...OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS...MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN
TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM INLAND FLOODING THAN FROM STORM SURGE...
TORNADOES...OR HIGH WINDS. INLAND FLOODING CAN BE A MAJOR THREAT TO
COMMUNITIES HUNDREDS OF MILES FROM THE COAST AS INTENSE RAIN FALLS
FROM THESE TROPICAL SYSTEMS.

HIGH RAINFALL AMOUNTS ARE NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE MAGNITUDE OF
THE WIND SPEED...OR THE INTENSITY OF THE STORM...BUT MORE RELATED TO
HOW SLOW THE STORM IS MOVING. IN FACT...SOME OF THE GREATEST
RAINFALL AMOUNTS HAVE OCCURED IN WEAKER STORMS THAT DRIFT SLOWLY OR
STALL OVER AN AREA.

A DRAMATIC EXAMPLE OCCURRED IN 2001 WHEN TROPICAL STORM ALLISON
PRODUCED EXTREMELY HEAVY RAINFALL...OVER 2 FEET OF RAIN IN PLACES...
AND CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN THE HOUSTON AREA. AS ALLISON DRIFTED
ACROSS THE AREA...AND THEN TRACKED OFF TO THE NORTHEAST...HEAVY
RAINFALL AND FLOODING OCCURRED FROM TEXAS TO LOUISIANA...TO NORTH
CAROLINA. OVER 20 PEOPLE DIED IN THE HOUSTON AREA...AND 41 ACROSS
THE NATION...WITH NEARLY 5 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES...THE MAJORITY
OF THAT IN THE HOUSTON AREA. ANOTHER LOCAL EXAMPLE WAS TROPICAL
STORM CLAUDETTE IN 1979 WHICH BROUGHT 45 INCHES OF RAIN TO ALVIN
TEXAS...LEADING TO SEVERE FLOODING.

HERE ARE SEVERAL STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY
FROM FLOODING.

PLACE VALUABLES IN PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS AND MOVE THEM TO THE
ATTIC OR OTHER ELEVATED LOCATION. FOR JEWELRY AND PHOTOS ON YOUR
WALLS...HAVE SMALL EMPTY PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS NEARBY SO YOU
CAN QUICKLY SCOOP UP YOUR BELONGINGS AND PLACE THEM IN ELEVATED
LOCATIONS.

PURCHASE INSURANCE THROUGH THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM. IT
WILL HELP YOU RECOVER FROM A FINANCIAL LOSS DUE TO FLOODING.

BEFORE A FLOOD...ELEVATE EXPENSIVE ITEMS SUCH AS OUTSIDE AIR
CONDITIONING UNITS. SEAL VENTS TO BASEMENTS TO PREVENT FLOODING.
DURING A FLOOD...IMMEDIATELY SHUT OFF YOUR ELECTRICITY AT THE
CIRCUIT BREAKERS.

KNOW YOUR EVACUATION ROUTES. HAVE DETAILED MAPS TO NAVIGATE
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES IF THE USUAL ROADS ARE FLOODED. NEVER ATTEMPT TO
CROSS A FLOODED ROADWAY. AS LITTLE AS 6 INCHES OF FLOWING WATER CAN
CAUSE YOU TO LOSE CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE. 2 FEET OF FLOWING WATER
WILL FLOAT MOST VEHICLES AWAY. TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN. FIND
ANOTHER WAY TO YOUR DESTINATION...OR WAIT UNTIL THE HIGH WATERS
RECEDE.

$$

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