Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
650 AM CDT MON MAR 23 2015

...TODAY BEGINS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA...

GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD...THE IOWA HOMELAND SECURITY AND
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION...AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
HAVE DESIGNATED THE WEEK OF MARCH 23 TO MARCH 27 AS SEVERE WEATHER
AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA. EACH MORNING THIS WEEK...THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES WILL BE FOCUSING ON A DIFFERENT ITEM
EACH DAY. TOPICS THIS YEAR INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING...

     MONDAY...FLASH FLOODING
     TUESDAY...WARNING RECEPTION
     WEDNESDAY...TORNADOES
     THURSDAY...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
     FRIDAY...FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

ATTENTION MEDIA...IN ORDER FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK TO
BE EFFECTIVE...MEDIA COVERAGE IS CRITICAL. PLEASE USE THE
INFORMATION IN THE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS IN YOUR NEWS
PROGRAMS TO HELP PROMOTE SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY. WE ALSO ENCOURAGE
MEDIA INTERVIEWS. PLEASE CONTACT JEFF ZOGG OR THE SENIOR
METEOROLOGIST IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS...
IMPACT BASED WARNINGS...THE IMPACT BASE WARNINGS EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCT
IS AN EFFORT TO BETTER COMMUNICATE SEVERE WEATHER THREATS WITH NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE WARNINGS. HERE IS A LINK TO THE IMPACT BASED WARNINGS
WEBSITE...WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/CRH/?N=2013_IBW_INFO (LOWER CASE)

WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS...
2014 WILL BE THE SECOND COMPLETE SEVERE WEATHER SEASON WITH WIRELESS
EMERGENCY ALERTS. HERE IS A WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!
WWW.FEMA.GOV/COMMERCIAL-MOBILE-ALERT-SYSTEM (LOWER CASE)

IOWA AND NEBRASKA WILL HAVE COMBINED SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS
WEEKS. THE COMBINED WEEK WILL HELP WITH THE TORNADO TEST FOR THOSE
ALONG THE MISSOURI RIVER.

YOU CAN FIND DETAILED SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION ON
OUR PREPAREDNESS PAGE! IT IS ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES
MOINES WEBSITE UNDER PREPAREDNESS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE.

TODAY/S TOPIC IS FLASH FLOODING

EACH YEAR...MORE DEATHS OCCUR DUE TO FLOODING THAN FROM ANY OTHER
THUNDERSTORM RELATED HAZARD...RESULTING IN MORE THAN 140
FATALITIES EACH YEAR. MOST FLASH FLOODS ARE CAUSED BY SLOW MOVING
THUNDERSTORMS...THUNDERSTORMS THAT REDEVELOP OVER THE SAME
AREA...OR HEAVY RAINS FROM TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES. THESE
FLOODS CAN DEVELOP WITHIN MINUTES OR HOURS DEPENDING ON THE
INTENSITY AND DURATION OF THE RAIN...THE TOPOGRAPHY...SOIL
CONDITIONS...AND GROUND COVER.

A FLASH FLOOD IS A RAPID RISE OF WATER ALONG A STREAM OR LOW-
LYING URBAN AREA. FLASH FLOODS CAN ROLL BOULDERS...TEAR OUT
TREES...DESTROY BUILDINGS AND BRIDGES...AND SCOUR OUT NEW
CHANNELS. RAPIDLY RISING WATER CAN REACH HEIGHTS OF 10 FEET OR
MORE.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TO
INDICATE CURRENT OR DEVELOPING HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS THAT ARE
FAVORABLE FOR FLASH FLOODING IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. THE
OCCURRENCE OF FLOODING IS NEITHER CERTAIN NOR IMMINENT. THOSE IN
THE WATCH AREA SHOULD BE ALERT FOR FLOODING.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
METEOROLOGISTS HAVE DETERMINED THAT FLASH FLOODING IS OCCURRING OR
IMMINENT. THOSE IN THE WARNING AREA SHOULD TAKE THE NECESSARY
PRECAUTIONS AT ONCE.

ALMOST HALF OF ALL FLASH FLOOD FATALITIES OCCUR IN VEHICLES. MANY
PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE TWO FEET OF WATER ON A BRIDGE OR HIGHWAY CAN
FLOAT MOST VEHICLES. IF THE WATER IS MOVING RAPIDLY...THE
CAR...TRUCK...OR SUV CAN BE SWEPT OFF THE BRIDGE AND INTO THE
CREEK OR DOWNSTREAM WITH THE FLOWING WATER. WATER CAN ERODE THE
ROAD BED... CREATING UNSAFE DRIVING CONDITIONS. UNDERPASSES CAN
FILL RAPIDLY WITH WATER...WHILE THE ADJACENT ROADWAY REMAINS
CLEAR. DRIVING INTO A FLOODED UNDER-PASS CAN QUICKLY PUT YOU IN
FIVE TO SIX FEET OF WATER. MANY FLASH FLOODS OCCUR AT NIGHT WHEN
FLOODED ROADS ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE.

WHEN YOU APPROACH A FLOODED ROAD...TURN AROUND...DON/T DROWN!

FLASH FLOOD MYTH VS. FACT...

MYTH...FLASH FLOODS ONLY OCCUR IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES.
FACT...FLASH FLOODS HAVE AND CAN OCCUR IN ALL 50
STATES...INCLUDING ALASKA AND HAWAII.

MYTH...FLASH FLOODS OCCUR ONLY ALONG FLOWING STREAMS.
FACT...FLASH FLOODS CAN OCCUR IN DRY CREEK BEDS AND URBAN AREAS
WHERE NO STREAMS ARE PRESENT.

MYTH...FLASH FLOODS OCCUR MAINLY IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND
EVENING.
FACT...FLASH FLOODS CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME OF DAY. MANY FLASH
FLOODS OCCUR AT NIGHT...TOO.

MYTH...LARGER VEHICLES...SUCH AS SUVS AND PICKUPS...ARE SAFE TO
DRIVE THROUGH FLOOD WATERS.
FACT...TWO FEET OF RUSHING WATER CAN CARRY AWAY MOST VEHICLES...
INCLUDING SUVS AND PICKUPS.

MYTH...HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICIES COVER FLOODING.
FACT...UNFORTUNATELY...MANY HOMEOWNERS DO NOT FIND OUT UNTIL IT
IS TOO LATE THAT THEIR POLICES DO NOT COVER FLOODING. CONTACT YOUR
INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT ABOUT FLOOD INSURANCE.

HERE ARE SOME FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

BEFORE A FLOOD...
KNOW THE COUNTY IN WHICH YOU LIVE AND THE NAMES OF NEARBY MAJOR
CITIES. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST BEFORE LEAVING TO BE OUTDOORS
FOR EXTENDED PERIODS. WATCH FOR SIGNS OF APPROACHING STORMS.
MONITOR THE NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR FAVORITE NEWS SOURCE FOR
VITAL WEATHER RELATED INFORMATION. DO NOT CAMP OR PARK YOUR
VEHICLE ALONG STREAMS AND WASHES... PARTICULARLY DURING
THREATENING CONDITIONS.

IF FLOODING OCCURS...
GET TO HIGHER GROUND. GET OUT OF AREAS SUBJECT TO FLOODING. THIS
INCLUDES DIPS...LOW SPOTS...CANYONS...WASHES ETC. AVOID AREAS
ALREADY FLOODED...ESPECIALLY IF THE WATER IS FLOWING FAST. DO NOT
ATTEMPT TO CROSS FLOWING STREAMS. ROAD BEDS MAY BE WASHED OUT
UNDER FLOOD WATERS. NEVER DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED ROADWAYS. DO NOT
ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY NEAR HIGH WATER...STORM DRAINS OR DITCHES.
HIDDEN DANGERS COULD LIE BENEATH THE WATER. BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS
AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE FLOOD DANGERS.

$$


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