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Flood watch issued for Middlesex and Norfolk counties from Thursday

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch at 2:12 a.m. on Wednesday valid from Thursday 5 a.m. for Middlesex and Norfolk counties.

The weather service comments, “Flooding is possible.”

“At 5.0 feet, People living along the Charles River should prepare for flooding of low-lying areas along the river. Susceptible locations include low-lying areas along Fisher Street in Needham and a small area on the South Natick and Wellesley line along River Street,” explains the weather service. “Residents and those with interests near the river should monitor rising water levels and be prepared for possible flood warnings. If you are in the watch area, remain alert to possible flooding. The next statement will be issued this afternoon at 10:15 a.m.”

Breaking down weather alerts: advisories, watches, and warnings

  • Flash flood warning: Take action!

A flash flood warning is issued when a flash flood is either imminent or already occurring. In flood-prone areas, it’s crucial to move immediately to higher ground. A flash flood is a sudden and violent inundation that can develop within minutes to hours, and it can even happen in areas not currently experiencing rainfall.

  • Flood warning: Take action!

A flood warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood advisory: Be aware:

A flood advisory is released when flooding is not expected to reach a severity level necessitating a warning. Nonetheless, it can still cause considerable inconvenience and, without exercising caution, potentially lead to situations that threaten life and/or property.

  • Flood watch: Be prepared:

A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It doesn’t guarantee that flooding will occur, but it signifies that the possibility exists.

Weather service flood safety guidelines: Weathering the storm

In flood-prone regions or while camping in low-lying areas, understanding and following the weather service flood safety guidelines can be a lifesaver:

1. Seek higher ground:

  • If you’re in a flood-prone area, or if you’re camping in a low-lying spot, move to higher ground as a first step.

2. Adhere to evacuation orders:

  • If local authorities issue an evacuation order, heed it promptly. Prior to leaving, secure your home by locking it.

3. Disconnect utilities and appliances:

  • If time allows, disconnect your utilities and appliances. This reduces the risk of electrical hazards during flooding.

4. Steer clear of flooded basements and submerged areas:

  • Avoid basements or rooms submerged in water with electrical outlets or cords. Preventing electrical accidents is crucial.

5. Evacuate promptly for safety:

  • If you notice sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping, or popping sounds, evacuate without delay. Do not enter water that may carry an electrical charge.

6. Refrain from walking in floodwaters:

  • Never attempt to walk through floodwaters, even if they appear shallow. Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can forcefully sweep you off your feet.

7. Seek high ground if trapped:

  • In the event you become trapped by moving water, make your way to the highest point available and contact emergency services by calling 911.

During heavy rainfall, the risk of flooding is heightened, especially in low-lying and flood-prone regions. Always remember never to drive through water on the road, no matter how shallow it appears. According to the weather service, as little as 12 inches of rapidly flowing water can carry away most vehicles. Stay safe by being prepared and informed.

Rainy roadways ahead: Essential safety tips for heavy rain

Rain can turn roads into hazards. Stay informed and follow these weather service tips to ensure safety during heavy rainfall:

Beware of rapid water flow:

  • In heavy rain, refrain from parking or walking near culverts or drainage ditches, where swift-moving water can pose a grave danger.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • Adhere to the two-second rule for maintaining a safe following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. In heavy rain, allow an additional two seconds of distance to compensate for reduced traction and braking effectiveness.

Slow down and drive with care:

  • If it is raining and the roads are wet, slow down. Take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually. Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid.

Choose your lane wisely:

  • Stay toward the middle lanes – water tends to pool in the outside lanes.

Prioritize visibility:

  • Turn on your headlights and be careful of other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas as they are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • The first half-hour of rain is when roads are slickest due to a mix of rain, grime, and oil. Exercise heightened caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Don’t follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. Take care when passing them as well; if you must pass, do so quickly and safely.

Mind your windshield wipers:

  • Overloaded wiper blades can hinder visibility. If rain severely impairs your vision, pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Seek refuge at rest areas or sheltered spots.
  • If the roadside is your only option, pull off as far as possible, preferably past the end of a guard rail, and wait until the storm passes. Keep your headlights on and turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers of your position.

By following these safety measures, you can significantly reduce risks and ensure your well-being when heavy rain pours down. Stay informed about weather conditions and heed advice from local authorities to make your journey safe and sound.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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