Despite a midweek snowstorm, it’s still Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s a time where meteorologists spread awareness of the different types of severe weather, and how you can prepare for them as the spring season begins. Today’s topic touches upon River Flooding.
River Flooding is generally caused by prolonged periods of heavy rainfall. These periods of heavy rain can cause river levels to rise above flood stage, and when levels reach a certain value, property and homes can be in trouble. River flooding can occur at any time of year, but normally spring and summer are the most prone times. For example, extensive snow melt during a period a heavy rainfall is a common setup for river flooding during the spring season.
When the National Weather Service sees the imminent threat for river flooding, a River Flood Warning is issued. A warning means river levels are expected to exceed flood stage at certain points along the area’s larger rivers. The warning includes the river(s) of concern, along with forecasted river levels at particular locations. The impact is measured in stages: minor, moderate, and major. These stages are determined by river levels, and the impacts those levels bring to surrounding areas.
When a River Flood Warning is issued, you must be ready to head to higher ground. Depending on the intensity of flooding, nearby residents may need to temporarily evacuate their homes. Normally a Flood Watch is issued in advance, so there is time for necessary preparations. That’s why it’s important to have a plan, especially if you live in a flood prone area. Have a place to go just in case, and make plans to move expensive equipment and property in your home to higher ground. Don’t forget to bring important medications and necessities. Preparation is always key!