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Turn Around, Don't Drown

Charlotte, N.C. –  Strong thunderstorms are moving through the Charlotte area, causing flash flooding. More than two inches of rain fell in less than an hour in south Charlotte and more rain is expected tonight. 

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the nation and in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Heavy rain can overwhelm the drainage system even when that system is properly functioning and maintained. Intense rainfall can lead to flooded streets, yards and buildings, and can send streams over their banks.

 

Flood safety reminders from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services:

  • Do not drive through floodwater. It takes only two feet of water to carry a car or SUV from the roadway. Turn around, don’t drown.
  • Do not walk or play in floodwater. Only six inches of moving water can sweep a person off their feet.
  • If you see dangerous flooding, call 911. Flood emergencies should be reported to local fire and police.
  • If the flooding or drainage problem is not life-threatening, call 311.
  • Even after the rain ends, streams may continue to rise for several hours.
  • Pay attention to flood watches and flood warnings. Be ready to move to higher ground.
  • Have an emergency supply kit.
  • Floodplain maps show areas with a specific risk of flooding. However, flooding can happen outside of the flood zone.
  • Floodplains are part of a healthy creek system and are designed by nature to flood.
  • Heavy rain can cause any low-lying area of street to flood, even if it’s not near a creek or not in a mapped floodplain.
  • Buy flood insurance. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • Build an ARK – Awareness, Responsibility & Knowledge

 

Storm Water Services will continue to monitor rainfall and stream depth during this storm with the Flood Information & Notification System. A dense network of local rain and stream gauges automatically notifies emergency responders to the threat or actual danger of flooding. Storm Water Services sources say Alexander Middle School has received the most rain at this time--2.18 inches in about an hour.

 

For more information about preparing for flash flooding, visit: http://stormwater.charmeck.org and click on “Drainage & Flooding.”

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Media Contacts: Sharon Foote – Storm Water Services   Cell: 980-721-8259    sharon.foote@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
                          Jennifer Frost
 – Storm Water Services   Cell: 704-507-6565     jfrost@charlottenc.gov