Flooding is one of Wayne County’s most common hazards. Depending on its depth and velocity, flooding can be a nuisance or a disaster. Be prepared for flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you are in a low-lying area, near a body of water, downstream from a dam, or in other areas known to flood in previous storms.
- A Flood Watch means there is a possibility of flooding or a flash flood in your area.
- A Flood Warning means a flood is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to evacuate do it immediately.
- A Flash Flood Watch means flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground. A flash flood could occur without any warning.
- A Flash Flood Warning means a flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately; do not wait for instructions.
- A 100-Year Flood (or “base flood”) is a flood that has a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, according to FEMA’s flood maps. A base flood may also be referred to as a 100-year storm, and the area inundated during the base flood is sometimes called the 100-year floodplain, which generally correlated to the “Special Flood Hazard Area” where federal flood insurance is required in order to obtain a mortgage. It should be noted that a “100-year flood” refers to the annual probability of such an occurrence, not the predicted interval between such floods.
- A 500-Year Flood is a flood that has a 0.2 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, according to FEMA’s flood maps. The area inundated during a 500-year flood is sometimes called the 500-year floodplain. It should be noted that a “500-year flood” refers to the annual probability of such an occurrence, not the predicted interval between such floods.
What to Do
Before (Preparedness / Mitigation)
- Sign up online for Wayne County Alerts and have a battery or crank-powered NOAA weather radio available.
- Prepare your home by cleaning gutters and drains.
- Decide early whether you will evacuate, and where you will go if ordered to or opt to leave.
- Disconnect electrical appliances.
- Know if your residence or business is in a floodplain.
- Apply for flood insurance. Consider this even if you are not in the 100-year floodplain (the FEMA-designated “Special Flood Hazard Area”) – many recent floods have exceeded the 100-year and 500-year marks!
- Learn First Aid.
- Refer to “Medical Emergency” hazard pages.
- Listen to official information.
- If you encounter rising water, move to higher ground immediately.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Always stay clear of floodwaters.
- Do not drive through flooded roads, even if you have a vehicle with high clearance and even if the water appears to be shallow – “turn around, don’t drown.”
- Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution.
- Return home when local officials say it is safe.
- Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
- Do not drink from floodwaters.
- Do not drink or wash with water from a flooded household well until it is tested and found to be safe to use.
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes may breed.
- Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with floodwater. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Remove all porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and should be removed from the home.
- Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.