As flooding continues in New England, parts of Rhode Island and Maine are experiencing extreme flooding; setting records in some places. President Obama has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and hundreds have been evacuated from their homes.
Flood warnings and watches have been issued for approximately 80 percent of the rivers and streams in southern New England. This storm has made March 2010 the wettest March on record for several cities in the Northeast.
Heavy rain that lasted several days has closed roads and officials are warning of more problems ahead as rivers continue to rise.
The American Red Cross has opened shelters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut for those affected by the flooding. If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of flooding. Follow these safety steps if heavy rains and flooding are likely: Know what flood warnings mean:
- A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area. During a flood watch, move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. Fill your vehicle’s gas tank in case you have to evacuate.
- A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. If a flood warning is issued, listen to local radio and television stations for information. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
- A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area. Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate quickly.
- A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon. Evacuate immediately. You may only have seconds to escape. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
Get the facts you need — before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation. There is more important information on how to be prepared for flooding, tornadoes, and other emergencies in the Preparedness section of our Web site.