DUBOIS, Pa. – Heavy rain fall has resulted in flooding across parts of Clearfield and Jefferson counties; the local American Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers and supplies to assist individuals affected by the inclement conditions. The organization is currently operating shelters for evacuated individuals at DuBois High School in DuBois and Sigel Civic Center in Sigel.
“The local Red Cross is quickly mobilizing to assist area families with their immediate needs,” said Jason Bange, executive director of the Red Cross PA Heartland Chapter, serving Cameron, Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson counties. “In the coming days, we will work to assess the needs of the affected individuals and provide them with the resources and tools they need to get back on their feet.”
Currently, approximately 50 people are seeking refuge in two Red Cross shelters, including DuBois High School, 425 Orient Avenue in DuBois and Sigel Civic Center in Sigel, Clearfield County.
The Red Cross encourages individuals to be cautious around flooded areas and urges residents to avoid driving through floodwaters. The organization also offers the below safety tips for families to keep in mind now and when clean-up efforts begin.
Safety During Flood Situations
•Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
•Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
•When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
•Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
•If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
•Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
•Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
Flood Recovery Tips
•Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
•Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
•Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
•If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
•If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
•Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
•Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
•During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
•Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out.
Additional flood safety tips can be found on RedCross.org. For more information, or to request assistance from the Red Cross, call 814-371-2750.
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