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000 NOUS41 KBOX 211154 PNSBOX CTZ002>004-MAZ002>024-026-RIZ001>008-211600- Public Information Statement National Weather Service Taunton MA 754 AM EDT THU JUL 21 2016 ...Hurricane Preparedness Week in Southern New England... ...Rules of Thumb for southern New England Hurricanes - Part 4... The National Weather Service has declared this week as hurricane preparedness week in southern New England. The following is the fourth in a series of five statements. Another rule of thumb for New England hurricanes is this, run from the water and hide from the wind. The most significant threat from hurricanes is flooding, either due to coastal inundation or heavy rainfall. In both cases, it is best to leave areas prone to flooding and seek shelter in structures which can withstand the wind. This is also a good idea for those in areas which may not flood themselves, but become isolated as all access points into that area are closed. Along a coastline, the main threat is the storm surge. The storm surge is simply water from the ocean pushed toward shore by the wind. Besides the intensity and speed of a tropical system, the arrival time and slope of the ocean bottom play a large role in determining the severity of a storm surge. A storm surge arriving during the peak of a high tide will be different than the same storm surge arriving during a low tide. Areas with a steep coastline will not experience as much storm surge as areas with a more shallow coast. When the normal tide cycle is considered along with the storm surge, it is called the storm tide. Storm tides in excess of 15 feet are possible along the southern New England coast. Storm tides also pose a threat to marine interests within confined harbors. In the case of Buzzards Bay Massachusetts, a storm tide approaching 28 feet is possible in a category 3 hurricane, due to the narrowing and shallowing of the bay heading into the Cape Cod Canal. Neither the storm surge nor storm tide account for the large, breaking waves on top of the water. The impact from these waves can also be substantial. For areas at elevations 10 feet or less above sea level, the threat from storm tides should not be ignored. The threat from storm tide is two-fold. First, water is heavy, weighing nearly 1700 pounds per cubic yard. The force generated by large amounts of water moving onshore rapidly can be devastating and persistent, sometimes lasting for hours. Unless a coastal structure has been specifically designed to withstand this force, it is likely to become structurally unsound. Once a structure is compromised, its value as a shelter is severely limited. This leads to the second threat from the storm tide, isolation. The storm tide can arrive several hours ahead of the tropical cyclone eye, potentially resulting in the closure of evacuation routes for an area. Even if the decision to leave is made, it may no longer be possible to do so. Do not wait to leave if asked to evacuate. The same can be said for heavy rainfall farther inland, as rivers, streams and creeks respond quickly. Tropical systems in southern New England typically can produce 6-8 inches of rain in a 24 hour period, and sometimes much more. For example, Tropical Storm Diane on 18 August 1955 produced 18.15 inches of rainfall in Westfield Massachusetts, with almost 20 inches total by the time the storm was over. Recently on 28 August 2011 Tropical Storm Irene brought 6 to 10 inches of rain along the east slopes of the Berkshires in Massachusetts as well as central and western portions of Hartford county Connecticut. In those areas stream and river flooding ranged from significant to locally catastrophic. Several river gages maintained by the United States Geological Survey set new records. Irene brought major flooding across portions of northwest Massachusetts from Greenfield west through Colrain, Leyden, Buckland, Charlemont and vicinity, in particular along the Deerfield river and its tributaries. There were numerous evacuations and a number of homes that were flooded and others condemned. One building in Shelburne Falls was moved a distance downstream of its foundation. Another home was reported to have been washed away in Leyden along the Green River. Multiple major routes and highways were affected including Route 2, Interstate 91, Route 20, Route 5, and Route 112. Large swaths of farmland were inundated as well. In Hartford county Connecticut, the Pequabuck River in Bristol overflowed its banks and flowed through Main Street. Unfortunately, two people went canoeing into these flood waters and their canoe was overturned. One person was rescued, another tragically drowned. Other streams and rivers were significantly affected in the area. Irene was a strong reminder that impacts from tropical storms and hurricanes are not limited to the coastline. These systems contain copious amounts of moisture that can be transported far inland, creating devastating flooding if the conditions are favorable for prolonged torrential rains. Whether from inland flooding or storm surge, the goal of evacuation is to move from a not so safe area, to a safer area. This does not necessarily mean evacuees must travel hundreds of miles. In fact the shortest travel distance to a safe location is best since it reduces traffic congestion and minimizes the chance of encountering other problems on the roadways. Also remember it will often take more time to reach your destination. Staying with family or friends, or even at a hotel, outside the area to be impacted by a tropical system is ideal. Another good idea is to establish a common contact outside the impacted area where family and friends can check in, and let other family and friends know they are safe. When evacuating, it is best to use the routes designated by authorities. These routes are often more closely monitored, and assistance can be provided more quickly. You can find evacuation routes for your area by contacting local emergency management officials. If you have pets, definitely call ahead to your chosen destination. Most public shelters do not accept pets. If a public shelter does accept pets, they must be either on leash or in a cage or box. Do not forget to bring pet food, most shelters do not provide it. Consider acquiring flood insurance, which is not a part of regular homeowners insurance. For more information concerning evacuation plans for hurricanes, please visit the website of your states emergency management agency or office of public safety. Other sources would be local emergency management officials and FEMA. $$ For the latest updates...please visit our webpage at You can follow us on Facebook at You can follow us on Twitter at @NWSBoston is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.