(Washington, DC) – A flood flash watch is in effect for the District of Columbia today, Friday, September 23, 2011 and surrounding areas through this evening and forecasts call for rain throughout the weekend. A flood can develop slowly, over a period of several days, or it can develop within minutes, which is the case with Flash Floods.
In general, you should know the difference between a watch and a warning. A flood WATCH means that flooding could occur and a flash flood WATCH means that flash flooding is possible and could occur without warning. A flood WARNING means that flooding is occurring or is about to occur and a flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring.
In the event of a flood or flash flood watch or warning, you should:
- Keep your automobile gas tank filled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
- Have an emergency “go-kit” with enough water and non-perishable food for 3 days.
- Keep a portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries, manual can-opener and other essential supplies on hand.
- Know your elevation above flood state.
- Store drinking water in various containers and clean bathtubs. Water service may be interrupted.
- Move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.
- DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road - you could be trapped or stranded. The depth of the water is not always obvious, or the road could be washed away. If you can't see it, you can't be sure it's there.
- Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
- Develop evacuation routes from your home and your workplace.
- Be aware of creeks and other low-lying areas that are prone to sudden flooding.
Flood Fact Sheets: click here to find the following Flood Fact Sheets:
- General Flood Facts and Protective Measures
- How to Properly Use Sandbags
- Protection of HVAC Equipment during a Flood
For power outages, call Pepco’s 24-Hour Outage Report Line at 1-877-737-2662. For downed wires, call Pepco immediately at 202-872-3432. To have trees or debris removed or to locate sand bag pick-up locations, call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311. For additional information, visit the Emergency Information Center at http://72hours.dc.gov.