Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
800 AM CDT MON MAR 24 2014

...TODAY BEGINS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA...

GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD THE IOWA HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT DIVISION...AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAVE
DESIGNATED THE WEEK OF MARCH 24 TO MARCH 28 AS SEVERE WEATHER
AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA.  EACH MORNING THIS WEEK...THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES WILL ISSUE A PUBLIC INFORMATION
STATEMENT FOCUSING ON A DIFFERENT ITEM EACH DAY.  TOPICS THIS YEAR
INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING...

MONDAY...FLASH FLOODING
TUESDAY...WARNING RECEPTION
WEDNESDAY...TORNADOES
THURSDAY...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
FRIDAY...FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

ATTENTION MEDIA...IN ORDER FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK TO BE EFFECTIVE...
MEDIA COVERAGE IS CRITICAL.  PLEASE USE THE INFORMATION IN THE
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS IN YOUR NEWS PROGRAMS TO HELP PROMOTE
SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY.  WE ALSO ENCOURAGE MEDIA INTERVIEWS.  PLEASE
CONTACT JEFF JOHNSON OR THE SENIOR METEOROGIST IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS... IMPACT BASED WARNINGS...THE IMPACT BASE
WARNINGS EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCT IS AN EFFORT TO BETTER COMMUNICATE
SEVERE WEATHER THREATS WITH NATIONAL WEATHER SERIVE WARNINGS.

HERE IS A LINK TO THE IMPACT BASED WARNINGS WEBSITE...
WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/CRH/N=2013_IBW_INFO (LOWER CASE)

WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS...2014 WILL BE THE SECOND COMPLETE SEVERE
WEATHER SEASON WITH WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS.

HERE IS A WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE. WWW.FEMA.GOV/COMMERCIAL-MOBILE-
ALERT-SYSTEM (LOWER CASE).

IOWA AND NEBRASKA WILL HAVE COMBINED SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEKS.

THE COMBINED WEEK WILL HELP WITH THE TORNADO TEST FOR THOSE ALONG
THE MISSOURI RIVER.

CHECKOUT THE RECENTLY IMPROVED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES
PREPAREDNESS PAGE. IT IS FULL OF NEW SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
INFORMATION. IT IS ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...DES
MOINES...WEBSITE UNDER PREPAREDNESS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE.

TODAY/S TOPIC IS FLASH FLOODING...

EACH YEAR...MORE DEATHS OCCUR DUE TO FLOODING THAN FROM ANY OTHER
THUNDERSTORM RELATED HAZARD...RESULTING IN MORE THAN 140 FATALITIES
EACH YEAR. MOST FLASH FLOODS ARE CAUSED BY SLOW MOVING
THUNDERSTORMS...THUNDERSTORMS THAT REDEVELOP OVER THE SAME AREA...OR
HEAVY RAINS FROM TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES. THESE FLOODS CAN
DEVELOP WITHIN MINUTES OR HOURS DEPENDING ON THE INTENSITY AND
DURATION OF THE RAIN...THE TOPOGRAPHY...SOIL CONDITIONS...AND GROUND
COVER.

A FLASH FLOOD IS A RAPID RISE OF WATER ALONG A STREAM OR LOW-LYING
URBAN AREA. FLASH FLOODS CAN ROLL BOULDERS...TEAR OUT
TREES...DESTROY BUILDINGS AND BRIDGES... AND SCOUR OUT NEW CHANNELS.
RAPIDLY RISING WATER CAN REACH HEIGHTS OF 10 FEET OR MORE.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TO INDICATE
CURRENT OR DEVELOPING HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS THAT ARE FAVORABLE FOR
FLASH FLOODING IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. THE OCCURRENCE OF
FLOODING IS NEITHER CERTAIN NOR IMMINENT. THOSE IN THE WATCH AREA
SHOULD BE ALERT FOR FLOODING.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS
HAVE DETERMINED THAT FLASH FLOODING IS OCCURRING OR IMMINENT. THOSE
IN THE WARNING AREA SHOULD TAKE THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS AT ONCE.

ALMOST HALF OF ALL FLASH FLOOD FATALITIES OCCUR IN VEHICLES. MANY PEOPLE DO
NOT REALIZE TWO FEET OF WATER ON A BRIDGE OR HIGHWAY CAN FLOAT MOST VEHICLES.
IF THE WATER IS MOVING RAPIDLY...THE CAR...TRUCK...OR SUV CAN BE
SWEPT OFF THE BRIDGE AND INTO THE CREEK OR DOWNSTREAM WITH THE
FLOWING WATER. WATER CAN ERODE THE ROAD BED...CREATING UNSAFE
DRIVING CONDITIONS. UNDERPASSES CAN FILL RAPIDLY WITH WATER...WHILE
THE ADJACENT ROADWAY REMAINS CLEAR. DRIVING INTO A FLOODED UNDER-
PASS CAN QUICKLY PUT YOU IN FIVE TO SIX FEET OF WATER. MANY FLASH
FLOODS OCCUR AT NIGHT WHEN FLOODED ROADS ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE.

WHEN YOU APPROACH A FLOODED ROAD...TURN AROUND...DON/T DROWN.

FLASH FLOOD MYTH VS. FACT...

MYTH...FLASH FLOODS ONLY OCCUR IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES.
FACT...FLASH FLOODS HAVE AND CAN OCCUR IN ALL 50 STATE...INCLUDING
ALASKA AND HAWAII.

MYTH...FLASH FLOODS OCCUR ONLY ALONG FLOWING STREAMS. FACT...FLASH
FLOODS CAN OCCUR IN DRY CREEK BEDS AND URBAN AREAS WHERE NO STREAMS
ARE PRESENT.

MYTH...FLASH FLOODS OCCUR MAINLY IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
FACT...FLASH FLOODS CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME OF DAY... MANY FLASH
FLOODS OCCUR AT NIGHT...TOO.

MYTH...LARGER VEHICLES...SUCH AS SUVS AND PICKUPS...ARE SAFE TO
DRIVE THROUGH FLOOD WATERS. FACT...TWO FEET OF RUSHING WATER CAN
CARRY AWAY MOST VEHICLES... INCLUDING SUVS AND PICKUPS.

MYTH...HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICIES COVER FLOODING.
FACT...UNFORTUNATELY...MANY HOMEOWNERS DO NOT FIND OUT UNTIL IT IS
TOO LATE THAT THEIR POLICES DO NOT COVER FLOODING. CONTACT YOUR
INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT ABOUT FLOOD INSURANCE.

HERE ARE SOME FLOOD SAFETY TIPS...

BEFORE A FLOOD...KNOW THE COUNTY IN WHICH YOU LIVE AND THE NAMES OF
NEARBY MAJOR CITIES. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST BEFORE LEAVING TO BE
OUTDOORS FOR EXTENDED PERIODS. WATCH FOR SIGNS OF APPROACHING
STORMS. MONITOR THE NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR FAVORITE NEWS SOURCE
FOR VITAL WEATHER RELATED INFORMATION. DO NOT CAMP OR PARK YOUR
VEHICLE ALONG STREAMS AND WASHES...PARTICULARLY DURING THREATENING
CONDITIONS.

IF FLOODING OCCURS...GET TO HIGHER GROUND. GET OUT OF AREAS SUBJECT
TO FLOODING. THIS INCLUDES DIPS...LOW SPOTS...CANYONS...WASHES ETC.
AVOID AREAS ALREADY FLOODED...ESPECIALLY IF THE WATER IS FLOWING
FAST. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS FLOWING STREAMS. ROAD BEDS MAY BE
WASHED OUT UNDER FLOOD WATERS. NEVER DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED ROADWAYS.
DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY NEAR HIGH WATER...STORM DRAINS OR
DITCHES. HIDDEN DANGERS COULD LIE BENEATH THE WATER. BE ESPECIALLY
CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE FLOOD DANGERS.

JEFF JOHNSON
WARNING AND COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/DESMOINES



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