Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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MEZ007>009-012>014-018>022-023>028-NHZ001>015-021200

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
710 AM EDT FRI MAY 01 2015

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF
APRIL 27TH THROUGH MAY 1ST, SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK
IN NEW ENGLAND.  THIS IS THE LAST IN A SERIES OF FIVE
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS ON VARIOUS TOPICS RELATED TO
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS.

...SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS - FLOODS AND FLASH FLOODS...

IN ADDITION TO LIGHTNING, HIGH WINDS, HAIL, AND TORNADOES,
SUMMERTIME THUNDERSTORMS ALSO BRING THE THREAT OF FLOODING
AND FLASH FLOODING TO NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND.  IN THE
SUMMERTIME, MOST FLASH FLOODS ARE CAUSED BY HEAVY, SLOWLY
MOVING THUNDERSTORMS WHICH CAN PRODUCE EXCESSIVE RAINFALL
IN AN AREA IN JUST A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.  IN ADDITION TO
THE RAINFALL, TOPOGRAPHY, SOIL CONDITIONS, AND GROUND
COVER HELP DETERMINE HOW MUCH OF THE RAINFALL SOAKS INTO
THE GROUND AND HOW MUCH OF THE RAINFALL RUNS OFF INTO
STREAMS AND RIVERS.

LAST YEAR, ON JULY 2, A FLASH FLOOD CAUSED BY SLOW-MOVING
THUNDERSTORMS WHICH PRODUCED 2 TO 4 INCHES OF RAIN IN JUST
3 HOURS, CAUSED AN ESTIMATED $10 MILLION IN DAMAGE IN
GRAFTON AND SULLIVAN COUNTIES.

NATIONWIDE, FLOODS AND FLASH FLOODS ARE THE GREATEST
STORM-RELATED KILLER, CLAIMING THE LIVES OF ABOUT 85
PEOPLE ANNUALLY. SIMILAR TO THE REST OF THE NATION, FLOODS
AND FLASH FLOODS ARE THE NUMBER ONE STORM-RELATED KILLER
IN NEW ENGLAND.  IN ADDITION, FLOODS AND FLASH FLOODS ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF PUBLIC AND
PRIVATE PROPERTY DAMAGE.

NATIONALLY, 66 PERCENT OF LAST YEAR`S FLOOD FATALITIES
WERE CAUSED BY PEOPLE ATTEMPTING TO DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED
AREAS.  ANOTHER 19 PERCENT WERE CAUSED PEOPLE ATTEMPTING
TO RUN, WALK, SWIM, OR JUST FELL INTO A FLOODED AREA.  AS
LITTLE AS 2 FEET OF WATER WILL FLOAT MOST CARS AND SMALL
TRUCKS.  IF YOUR VEHICLE BEGINS TO FLOAT, YOU LOSE
COMPLETE CONTROL OVER THE VEHICLE. IF YOUR VEHICLE STALLS
IN A FLOODED ROADWAY, ABANDON IT IMMEDIATELY AND SEEK
HIGHER GROUND.  THE WATER MAY SWEEP THE VEHICLE AND ITS
OCCUPANTS AWAY.

DAM FAILURES CAN ALSO LEAD TO FLOODS OR FLASH FLOODS.
WHILE NOT ALWAYS CAUSED BY THE WEATHER, DAM FAILURES CAN
LEAD TO EXTREMELY FAST RISES IN RIVER AND STREAM LEVELS.

HERE ARE SEVERAL FATAL FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD EVENTS THAT
OCCURRED IN MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE SINCE 1996.

  MAR 13 1996  ALTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE - A CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OF AN
               EARTHEN DAM ON MEADOWS POND CAUSED A FLASH FLOOD
               DOWNSTREAM OF THE DAM.  A WOMEN WHO WAS TRYING TO
               FLEE THE FLOOD WATERS IN HER PICKUP TRUCK DROWNED
               AFTER HER VEHICLE WAS WASHED OFF THE ROADWAY AND INTO
               A RAVINE.

  JUL 13 1996  BRISTOL, NEW HAMPSHIRE - THREE TO FOUR INCHES OF RAIN
               FROM THE REMNANTS OF HURRICANE BERTHA CAUSED MANY
               SMALL RIVERS AND STREAMS TO FLOOD.  A 10-YEAR OLD BOY
               PLAYING IN THE RAIN-SWOLLEN NEWFOUND RIVER WAS SWEPT
               TO HIS DEATH.

  OCT 21 1996  SCARBOROUGH, MAINE - FOUR TO 19 INCHES OF RAIN CAUSED
               VERY SERIOUS FLOODING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND WESTERN
               MAINE.  ONE MAN DROWNED WHEN HE DROVE HIS CAR INTO A
               FLOODED ROADWAY.  UNKNOWN TO THE MAN, THE ROAD HAD
               ALREADY BEEN WASHED AWAY.

  MAR 31 1998  FRANKLIN COUNTY, MAINE - SNOWMELT, CAUSED BY RECORD-
               BREAKING WARMTH, COMBINED WITH RECENT RAINFALL TO
               CAUSE MANY RIVERS AND STREAMS TO RISE.  ONE MAN
               DROWNED WHEN HE DROVE HIS TRUCK INTO A FLOODED
               ROADWAY.

  JUN 27 1998  BRIDGEWATER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - HEAVY, SLOW-MOVING
               THUNDERSTORMS CAUSED THE BAKER RIVER AND IT`S
               TRIBUTARIES TO RISE RAPIDLY.  ONE MAN DROWNED WHEN HE
               WAS SUCKED INTO A CULVERT WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CLEAR
               DEBRIS FROM THE CULVERT.  A SECOND MAN WAS INJURED.

  APR 16 2007  LEBANON, MAINE - A WOMAN AND HER 4-YEAR OLD
               GRANDDAUGHTER THAT SHE WAS CARRYING WERE SWEPT
               TO THEIR DEATH AS THEY ATTEMPTED TO CROSS A
               FLOODED ROADWAY ON FOOT.

  AUG 07 2008  ASHLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE - A 7-YEAR-OLD GIRL DROWNED
               WHEN A BRIDGE WASHED AWAY AS HER FAMILY TRIED TO
               DRIVE OUT OF A FLOODED CAMPGROUND.

TO ALERT THE PUBLIC TO THE THREAT OF FLOODING, THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD
WATCHES AND WARNINGS.  A FLOOD WATCH INDICATES
FLOODING/FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE, AND IS USUALLY ISSUED
IN ANTICIPATION OF HEAVY RAINFALL.  A FLOOD/FLASH FLOOD
WARNING INDICATES THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR IS ALREADY
OCCURRING.  IF YOU HEAR THAT A FLOOD/FLASH FLOOD WARNING
HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA, MOVE IMMEDIATELY TO HIGHER
GROUND IF FLOOD WATERS THREATEN.

HERE ARE SOME FLOOD/FLASH FLOOD FACTS AND SAFETY TIPS.

   *  NEVER DRIVE A CAR INTO A FLOODED ROADWAY.  MORE THAN
      HALF OF ALL FLASH FLOOD FATALITIES ARE VEHICLE
      RELATED.

   *  KEEP AWAY FROM STREAMS DURING HEAVY RAINFALL EVENTS.
      SWIFTLY MOVING WATER IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL AND CAN
      EASILY OVERPOWER A PERSON.

   *  KEEP CHILDREN INSIDE AND AWAY FROM FLOODED STREETS,
      CULVERTS, AND STREAMS.

   *  REPORT ANY FLOODING TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES.

   *  IF ADVISED TO EVACUATE, DO SO IMMEDIATELY.

   *  OBEY ALL ROAD BLOCKS AND BARRIERS, EVEN IF THE FLOODING HAS
      RECEDED.  FLOOD WATERS MAY HAVE UNDERCUT THE ROAD SURFACE OR
      LEFT DANGEROUS DEBRIS IN THE ROADWAY.

   *  IF YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD PRONE AREA, HAVE A PLAN IN CASE THE
      WATER STARTS RISING QUICKLY.

$$


JENSENIUS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
GRAY, MAINE

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