Severe Weather Awareness Week: Flood Safety Tips


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – This week in West Virginia it is Severe Weather Awareness Week. In the state of West Virginia, floods are one of the most common and costly forms of severe weather.

According to FEMA, every county in West Virginia has had at least 26 flooding events since 1996. In North-Central West Virginia, Preston County has the most events with 92.

Flood Events in West Virginia from 1996-2019 courtesy of FEMA

With flooding being so prominent across the region, it important to be reminded of flood safety tips.

First and foremost do NOT walk, swim, or drive through flood waters, remember TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.

It only takes 6 inches of water to knock a person off their feet and sweep them away. 12 inches of water is all it takes to sweep your car away, and even a semi-truck can be swept away by 18 inches.

Another important tip to remember during a flood is to stay off bridges over fast moving bodies of water. Water can quickly rise and overpass the underside of the bridge and the last place you want to be during a flood is stuck atop a bridge under that scenario.

Before a flood, there a few steps you can take to stay ahead of the storm as well.

First, you need to know if you reside within a floodplain. You can see the state’s breakdown of the floodplain on the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Website.

Second, your insurance for coverage of flooding. In a place like North-Central West Virginia flood insurance is needed in many areas.

Third, clear your storm drains of any loose debris. Storm drains are designed to carry rainwater away from your home, if they become clogged or damaged that can put your home at risk of seeing flood damage.

Fourth, as is the case for any severe weather event, charge electronic devices in case of an emergency. You will never know when the power will go out, stay ahead of a power outage by keeping your necessary electrical devices charged.

Stick with the StormTracker 12 Weather Team for updates throughout the week for more severe weather information.

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