Many creeks are especially high with strong currents and with more rain on the way, they could overflow and cause flooding. Emergency officials I spoke with say there are many dangers that people aren’t always aware of when it comes to staying safe.
Standing water isn’t as harmless as it looks.
“The system that we have in this area here to get rid of water and sewage, sometimes the two mix together so if you think about it all of that is mixing in that flood water that these people are walking around in,” said Jeff Burkhart, Oriskany Fire Chief.
And when that water enters your home, more problems arise.
“Who knows what people put in their basements, it could be petroleum, it could be anything from pesticides to insecticides to batteries. Whatever it might be is going to come out during the flood,” said Burkhart.
There could also be an electrical current in the water or even hidden traps beneath it.
“The man hole cover could come off the ground and now you have an open hole and if you’re walking along and don’t realize, you could fall in that hole,” he said.
And in the car, driving through any amount of flood water is hazardous.
“Three to six inches of water can move a vehicle if the water is traveling only between five and ten miles an hour,” he said.
With the unpredictable nature of these storms, it’s hard to tell how much flooding we’re in for, but emergency crews and area Department of Public Works are busy preparing for the worst.
“But again, with these pop up thunderstorms, it’s not like when they’re predicting a hurricane and you’re waiting for it, with these pop-up thunderstorms, it just happens and you have to react the best you can with what you have available to you,” said Dave Short of the Utica DPW.
Area DPWs are keeping an eye on culverts and ditches in preparation for the rain tonight. They ask you to clear your drains out and remind you to never drive through standing water.