Officials are urging Mainer's to pay close attention to weather alerts and warnings because of the potential for flooding, sleet and freezing rain. People are reminded to never drive a vehicle on a flooded road because it could be washed out beneath the surface. It also doesn't take much for swift running water to carry a vehicle or people away. If you do live in a flood prone area, you should have a plan in case you need to get out. As temperatures continue to drop Friday night there could be some very icy driving conditions. Mainer's can sign up to receive citizen alerts by visiting Maine.gov. MEMA has also provided the following advice.
AUGUSTA, MAINE —With a forecast of temperatures into the 40s and 50s over the next two days combined with rain, Mainers are urged to pay close attention to weather alerts and warnings due to the potential for flooding, sleet and freezing rain.
Flooding prompts a reminder of the following:
Never drive a car into a flooded roadway as the road underneath may be washed out. Remember to “turn around, don’t drown.”
Stay clear of streams during flooding, swiftly moving water is extremely powerful and can easily overpower a person or vehicle.
Keep children and pets inside and away from flooded streets, culverts, and streams.
Report flooding to the appropriate authorities.
Obey road blocks and barriers, even if the flooding has receded. Flood waters may have undercut the road surface or left dangerous debris in the roadway.
If you live in a flood prone area, have a plan in case the water starts rising quickly.
Know your evacuation route and if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flood insurance is always a good idea, especially if you live in a flood-prone area. Flood insurance is not included in a typical homeowner’s policy and takes 30 days to go into effect.
If a flooded basement becomes an issue, homeowners should:
Make sure to shut off any power around the area, including electricity and gas. Never enter a flooded area while the power is on. If you aren’t sure how to shut these areas off, call a qualified electrician before entering the room and beginning to work.
Unless the water is caused by rainfall, act as soon as you notice flooding. If rain or storm water is the cause of the flood, wait until it's passed before getting to work.
Regardless of the water source, wear boots and gloves for protection. You may also choose to wear a protective mask. Hip or chest waders may also be useful if they are available. Take care when walking and moving around the flooded area since it will likely offer itself as a slipping hazard.
Determine the source of the water. If a burst pipe is the cause of the flood, shut off water to the basement.
If your basement has a floor drain, check to make sure it didn’t become clogged during the flood. Keeping it open and functioning will help drain the water.
Start removing water from the basement. Depending on the amount of water, you can use a sump pump, a pool pump, a wet/dry vacuum or a mop and bucket
As the temperature begins to drop again Friday night, some sleet and freezing rain is expected and drivers are reminded to check the forecast and use caution if they must travel. Mainers can receive Citizen’s Alerts by signing up at Maine.gov. FEMA also offers a free smartphone app that allows users to subscribe to weather alerts and targeted preparedness information for up to five locations. Safety and emergency information is also available at MainePrepares.com and on Facebook and Twitter.