Henderson County is no stranger to river flooding. We have seen our share of significant floods in 1937, 1964, 1997, 2011 and most recently in February 2018. Below are some suggestions to prepare for and respond to a flooding event in your area.
How to prepare for a Flood
- Monitor the weather regularly through your local news channels and the National Weather Service at www.nws.noaa.gov.
- Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery backup.
- Determine facility vulnerability for flooding.
- Know your flood risk and the elevation above which flooding occurs
- Monitor river levels
- Have an evacuation route planned that avoids flood prone roads. If necessary, have a boat available to ferry people in and out of the area.
- Have sand bags ready to protect flood prone areas. Sand will be provided and the pickup location announced.
- Procure or have on hand portable pumps and generators.
- To avoid the possibility of electrocution, disconnect the power to flooded buildings. If possible, cut off power before flooding begins
- Permanent flood proofing measures that can be taken are
- Installing check valves to prevent river water from backing up into the effluent discharge line;
- Building watertight walls or barriers around equipment, work areas, doorways, windows, ventilation shafts or other openings that are subject to flooding;
- Moving electrical equipment above the anticipated water level in flood prone areas;
- Sealing walls to prevent or reduce seepage;
- Installing permanent pumps to remove floodwaters; and
- Store chemicals and hazardous materials in non-flood locations. Make sure propane and fuel oil tanks are secure so they don’t float away (which can cause a hazardous release and/or explosion.
After a flooding event
- Perform a thorough inspection of your property. Watch out for potential electrocution and slip and fall hazards.
- Inspect for settling and/or erosion to building foundations, roadways, culverts and other structures.
- Be aware of chemical and biological contamination in flooded areas.
- Equipment motors will need to be dried out and pump bearings may need to be purged to eliminate moisture.
- Check electronic equipment for damage.
- Plants may get inundated with grit and sludge, requiring extra handling and sludge dewatering, and inspection to assess damage to equipment.
Visit www.ready.gov for more information and make a family disaster kit.