How to cope with flash floods
Record rainfall caused flash floods in parts of St. Louis and other parts of Missouri
Overnight rainfall of 6 to 10 inches was reported
More than twenty sections of major roads that crisscross the St. Louis region had to be closed
The rain was "historic," according to Jim Sieveking, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, who also noted that it broke the city's five-hour daily rainfall record, which had been set in August 1915.
When there is simply too much water coming in too quickly, flash floods happen, according to Bonnie Schneider, a meteorologist and author of Extreme Weather.
Here's how to deal with a flood-
Prior to a flood-
Plan ahead: Making a plan for how your family will communicate, meet, and evacuate in case of a flash flood emergency should be done long before rain is predicted. If necessary, how will you get out of your house? Who will be in charge of the children? In the event that your family is split up, where will you meet? You can download templates from the American Red Cross to use as conversation starters.
Prepare a 'go bag' right away - If you need to leave your house quickly, it's critical to have an easily accessible emergency kit packed with supplies.
Add shelf-stable food, water or a portable filtration system, a change of clothing, a headlamp or flashlight with batteries, a phone charger, face masks, cash, and a first-aid kit.
When there is a flood -
Maintain vigilance- If a storm is on the way, listen to local weather alerts on your phone, radio, or television. A battery-powered radio can be useful in the event of a power outage.
Prepare to flee if necessary - If you have to evacuate, gather any essential items that aren't already in your "go bag," such as driver's licences, credit cards, medications, and important documents, and seal them in a waterproof pouch. (A plastic freezer bag will suffice.) Check that your phone is charged and, if possible, unplug small appliances to prevent them from being fried by electrical surges.
When possible, avoid floodwaters - If possible, avoid all floodwaters — or, as the National Weather Service's grim catchphrase suggests, "Turn Around Don't Drown." It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock you off your feet, so unless ordered to evacuate, staying put is usually the best option. (In general, flash floods are brief.)
The most immediate danger of entering floodwaters is drowning, but you may also be exposed to a variety of harmful substances floating in the water, such as human, animal, and industrial waste; physical objects such as cars, lumber, and other debris; stray animals such as rodents and snakes; and downed power lines.
If you're going for a walk, hiking, or camping-
If you get caught in a flash flood while on foot, run perpendicular to the water and "get to the highest point possible," which could mean running into the nearest building and racing up the stairs, climbing a tree, or climbing onto a truck.
More than twenty sections of major roads that crisscross the St. Louis region had to be closed due to the flooding that submerged roadways. According to the state Department of Transportation, these roads cross the nation in both east and west directions, as well as the beltway Interstate 170, which runs north and south.