Preparations underway for heavy weekend rain

Preparations underway for heavy weekend rain

With heavy rainfall expected this weekend, preparations are being made to keep water away from flood prone areas.

The South Florida Water Management District has already lowered canals with forecast predictions as high as 4 inches in some areas after an already soggy last two weeks.

From Friday to Wednesday, forecasters are calling for rainfall totals as high as three inches per day in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The Treasure Coast is projected to see slightly less.

As the storm approaches, the district is recommending you find out who to contact for your property's drainage. It could be the city, county, a homeowners association or another local drainage district. A video produced by SFWMD explains how one can figure that out.

There is a potential for flash flooding, which occurs within six hours of a significant rain event and is usually caused by intense storms that produce heavy rainfall in a short amount of time.

"We are not expecting any widespread flooding, but given the potential for flash floods, we want to make sure people follow guidelines with regards to standing or moving water," said West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Asst. Chief Brent Bloomfield, who is also the city's emergency operations director.

When driving through standing water, please be mindful of these important safety tips:

  • Do your best to estimate the depth of the water; do not drive through water if you cannot estimate the depth.
  • If you drive through water, drive slowly and steadily; make sure to test your brakes after you clear the water to make sure they work properly.
  • If your vehicle stalls, try to restart the vehicle and move out of the water; if you cannot restart the vehicle, call for help.

You can help reduce flooding on roads by picking up yard waste on your property and making sure nearby storm drains are free of leaves.

Other considerations during heavy rain include:

  • Be cautious of downed power lines; always think of a downed power line as energized.
  • Snakes and other animals tend to look for higher ground; be careful around your house.
  • Situational awareness is necessary; make sure to look at your surroundings for any dangers associated with high water levels.

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