4 Things To Know About All This Rain

Posted at 10:50 a.m.

We are on our third straight day of heavy rains in the county and it’s not letting up any time soon. Here are four things you should know.

1.) Flash Flood Watch

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch in effect from noon today through tomorrow morning, although it may be extended.

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Flood Watch

According to the NWS, there is a possibility of 1 to 3 inches of rain today and an additional 3 to 5 inches on Tuesday. There is also a chance of thunderstorms, which could bring wind gusts of up to 40 to 50 mph.

Please keep children away from creeks and streams as the water may rise quickly.

2.) Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.

  • Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult.
  • 12 inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away.
  • 18 to 24 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs.

It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.

Our Fire and Rescue Department has already been responding to calls about stranded motorists.

Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

3.) Watch for Downed Trees

The combination of wet soil and potentially heavy wind gusts could cause trees to uproot and fall over. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

If a Tree Hits Your Home

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. Use your cellphone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
  2. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  3. Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
  4. Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.

For downed trees:

  • Adjacent to Public Roads: Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
  • On County Parkland: Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
  • Posing Hazard to Public Areas: Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
  • On Private Property: Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.

A comprehensive list of who to contact is available online.

4.) Prepare for Power Outages

As the storm continues, you may well find yourself without power. Be prepared and know what to do before your power goes out.

Plan Ahead

  • Keep your digital devices charged!
  • Back up critical files on your computer.
  • Unplug electrical equipment. Spikes and surges could occur as power is restored, damaging equipment.
  • Make sure that your emergency supply kit can be found easily if the lights go out.
  • If you use well water, pre-plan by filling a bathtub with water for use with sanitation, etc.

If Your Power Goes Out

  • Report your outage! Never assume a neighbor has reported it.
    • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711; view outage map
    • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC): 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711; view outage reports
  • Use a flashlight or battery-powered lantern for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • Unplug electrical equipment until a steady power supply returns.
  • If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call or text 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

One response to “4 Things To Know About All This Rain”

  1. Anonymous says :

    #5 Be alert for basement flooding; make sure ouside drains are clear, such as in basement walkouts. Install inexpensive water alarms in basement and other areas prone to receive water. Voice of experience!