Public Information Statement
Statement as of 08:30 am EST on March 17, 2014
The National Weather Service has declared the week of March
17th through 22nd flood awareness week in Maine and New
Hampshire, as well as in the remainder of the United States.
This is the first in a series of five public information
statements issued by the National Weather Service office in
gray for flood awareness week.
In the United States, flooding is the top storm-related
killer, on average, claiming the lives of about 90 people
annually. In 2013, there were 84 fresh water flood or flash
flood fatalities across the United States. More than half of
the fatalities were related to people driving into flooded
roadways, some of those incidents occurred when vehicles drove
around barricades. Victims were either trapped in their cars
or drowned as they were washed downstream by raging flood
waters. In addition, other fatalities occurred when people
tried to walk through flooded areas.
In Maine and New Hampshire, flooding can occur at any time of
the year, however, the greatest threat typically occurs in the
Spring when heavy rains and snowmelt can combine to produce
excessive runoff. A secondary flooding maximum occurs in the
fall when moisture-laden tropical systems can affect the area.
The current snowpack is near to above normal for this time of
year and any heavy rains this Spring could combine with
melting snow to cause rivers to rise to flood levels.
As warmer weather arrives and rain and melting snow saturate
the ground, be alert to the possibility of flooding should
heavy rains occur. If you live in a flood-prone area, be sure
to monitor the latest forecasts for the latest conditions.
Always report any flooding to the appropriate local officials
and always obey all barricades and local detours. And never,
under any circumstance, drive into a flooded roadway!
Here are some important recommendations from the National
* Respect the power of moving water.
* Never try to drive, swim, walk, or run through a flooded
* Keep a safe distance from the banks of swiftly moving
streams, creeks, and ditches.
* Monitor children closely when streams are high.
* If you encounter high water or flooding, turn around, don't