St. Helena Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 5:59 am CST on March 3, 2015

     ... severe weather awareness week in Louisiana...
          ... March 1 through March 7 2015

The week of March 1 through March 7 has been designated as severe
weather awareness week in Louisiana. Late winter and Spring months
typically bring the highest frequency of severe weather to Gulf
Coast region. Severe weather awareness week is good time to review
severe weather safety plans and ensure you have a means to receive
timely warnings.

In addition to tornadoes... lightning... large hail... and damaging
winds... thunderstorms also can produce flash flooding. A flash flood
is a flood that develops quickly along a stream... creek or bayou due
to heavy rain or water releases from dams upstream.

Flash floods can occur any time of the day... but are most
dangerous at night. Flooding causes more deaths each year than
any other weather event... accounting for about 140 deaths each
year nationwide.

Flash floods are very deceptive. Often flash flooding can occur at
night when warnings may go unnoticed and when darkness makes it hard
to find an escape Route. Even worse... the water is almost always
deeper and moves more swiftly than it appears. It can hide damage
to the Road beneath as well as debris on the Road.

The safety rule is simple... stay out of and away from deep water.
Motorists must not try to cross flooded low areas. Even if a
previous vehicle made it through the flooding... the water can rise
so rapidly that you may not make it. Using alternate routes to
avoid flooding is the only way to be safe.

If your vehicle stalls in flood waters... leave it immediately and
move to higher ground. Most cars and light trucks will begin to
float in as little as two feet of water. If the water reaches the
doors... electric windows and door systems may be shorted out. Even
if the are not... occupants must push against the current to open
doors. This is extremely difficult if not impossible.

Everyone... especially children... should stay away from flooded
creeks ... streams... or drainage ditches. The Swift Current can
quickly swept away even if they are strong swimmers. Soggy banks
along these swiftly moving waters become unstable after heavy

Rain and can easily give away... dumping the victim into the flood

On Wednesday morning around 915am ... the National Weather Service
will issue a test Tornado Warning message on the NOAA Weather Radio
system to allow organizations to test and review their severe
weather plans and ensure their NOAA weather radios are working
properly. The test message will be clearly worded as a test. Many
NOAA Weather Radio may not sound an audio alarm... however they will
display test on their screen signifying they successfully received
the test. If severe weather or hazardous weather is expected on
Wednesday the test message will be rescheduled to a later date.

For further information contact the New Orleans / Baton Rouge area
National Weather Service forecast office... 985-649-0357 extension 4.

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