Our view: Be ready for spring floods
Mar 17, 2011 | 1384 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This is national Flood Awareness Week, although to many in St. Clair County it comes just a bit late.

Heavy rains last week lifted local rivers and streams out of their banks and raised the level of Logan Martin Lake five feet above its maximum summer pool. Additional rain early this week slowed water’s drop back to normal levels and ensured that everyone in the area is well aware of the threat of seasonal flooding.

What people may not realize, however, is that flooding is “the nation’s most common and expensive natural disaster,” according to Craig Fugate, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We’re encouraging individuals and families to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and their property,” Fugate said. “These include learning about their risk of flooding, having an emergency preparedness kit, storing important documents in a safe place and considering the purchase of flood insurance. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding, and most policies take 30 days to go into effect so it’s important to act now.”

According to the National Weather Service, more deaths occur each year from flooding than from any other severe weather-related hazard. The main reason, according to the NWS, is that people underestimate the force and power of water.

Floods kill nearly 100 people in the U.S. or its territories every year and cause billions of dollars in damage, said NWS Director Jack Hayes.

FEMA and NWS have information to help prepare for a flooding emergency at www.ready.gov/floodawareness.

“Awareness, preparedness and action are the key ingredients to protecting lives and property when floods threaten,” Hayes said. “One essential safety tip is to never cross a road that is covered by water. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.”

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