Illinois Flood Safety Awareness Week

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PEORIA (25 News) – With spring fast approaching, the chance of heavy rain will begin to increase and with it the risk of flooding.

When it comes to weather-related deaths, flooding is second only to extreme heat. Floods can be rapid when heavy rain moves through an area, it is usually flash flooding. However, it can be expected if there is widespread rain over several days.

If you are traveling during a flood and encounter washed out pavement, there is only one thing you can and should do.

“The best thing for you to do is turn around and that’s because you don’t know what’s under that water. The water could have washed away the road. The water could sink and could wash away your car.So the best thing to do is turn around and find an alternate route.Said Nicole Batzek.

Nicole Batzek is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln. She also told us that the amount of water needed to sweep a vehicle is incredibly low.

“It only takes 12 inches of water to sweep a small car, then 18 to 24 inches to sweep some kind of large SUV, truck or van.” says Batzek.

The NWS is not the only line of defense in the event of a flood. County emergency management offices are on the ground when flooding poses an immediate threat to life and property.

“We help prepare a mitigation plan and we help communities or wherever they have a flood event if they need resources, we can bring in county and state resources.” said Kent McCanless, director of the Woodford County Emergency Management Agency.

The Woodford County Emergency Management Office was on the ground in 2020 during a flood in Roanoke. They have dozens of sandbags for use during floods and several flood cleanup kits.

The Woodford County EMA also has special sirens, similar to tornado sirens, that alert residents to flooding. However, you must remember the most important point about outdoor warning sirens.

“Just like tornado sirens, sirens are made to sound outside to come inside for shelter.” Says McCanless.

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