We’re a little jumpy about flooding around here.
After a downpour caused widespread flooding in parts of Manhattan on Labor Day last year, it took months for many homeowners and business owners to get back to normal. Some had to abandon their houses or apartments. Some businesses never reopened.
So this week, when the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the area, forecasting rain to fall on top of the already-saturated soil, it understandably made us a bit nervous.
Officials said Wednesday there weren’t any major problems from the inch or so of rain and the snowmelt that’s making rivers run higher than usual. But since it’s also national Flood Safety Week, it seems like a good time to go over some basic tips.
The following is adapted from the National Weather Service:
1. Turn around, don’t drown. Even shallow water can sweep adults off their feet or carry away small cars. If the road is flooded, find an alternate route.
2. Check the news, and get alerts. In Riley County, you can sign up for text alerts at rileycountyks.gov/917/Emergency-Notifications.
3. Know the risk where you live. Ask neighbors, and check topographic maps to determine your risk. People at high risk may need to buy flood insurance.
4. Make an emergency kit. Have an evacuation plan for your family and pets, and if you’re in a flood-prone area, pack a waterproof kit. It should include food, water bottles, clothing, sleeping bags, important documents, traveler’s checks and medication. Keep electronics charged.
5. Prepare your home. Some floods happen within minutes, but if you have time you may want to fill sandbags and stack them to protect your house. Another good thing to do in advance is have a professional install check-valves in your plumbing to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home.