CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Tropical Depression Ida approaches West Virginia, West Virginia American Water has taken measures to fight back against the potential heavy rainfall and flooding.
To aid their wastewater treatment plants, pump stations and facilities, personnel have “tested and fueled generators, vehicles and fuel storage tanks, staged sandbags at treatment plant intakes, prepared wastewater treatment plants for increased flows, reviewed plans for monitoring water levels and updated staffing plans to help with response efforts.”
“Safety is our top priority as we prepare for an extreme weather event, and emergency response planning is crucial to providing safe drinking water and reliable wastewater service to our customers,” said Chris Carew, vice president of operations for West Virginia American Water. “Our team of water experts is highly trained on disaster preparedness, incident response and emergency management. If floodwaters rise, our team will also work hard to meet the challenge of keeping our systems operational and restoring service quickly if they are impacted.”
In the event of severe flooding, West Virginia American Water gives these safety tips:
- Make an emergency plan. Visit www.ready.gov/plan to get started. This plan will help you know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourself, your family and your pets from flooding. Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.
- Know Your Risk for Floods. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to know types of flood risk in your area. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Turn around, don’t drown. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If under a flood warning, find a safe shelter. Stay where you are, move to higher ground or a higher floor, and evacuate if told to do so.
- Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
- Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.