FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Curtis Carey
With Hurricane Irene expected to move across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, the National Weather Service cautions all inland and coastal residents about the risk of flooding from heavy rain.
"As we saw with the tragic flood-related deaths from Hurricane Floyd, everyone must take the threat of flooding seriously," said Bill Proenza, National Weather Service Southern Region director. "Inland and coastal residents should carefully monitor the official National Weather Service watches and warnings for their area, and be prepared to implement their emergency response plans."
John Forsing, director of the NWS Eastern Region, which includes North and South Carolina, stressed that driving vehicles into flooded areas is an especially bad idea. "Driving vehicles over flooded roads is one of the greatest causes of weather-related fatalities in the United States," according to Forsing.
The National Weather Service requests that all news outlets in the affected region use the following public service announcement:
ABOUT 140 PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR IN FLOODS AND FLASH FLOODS, AND HALF OF THOSE DEATHS ARE AUTO RELATED. THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE REMINDS YOU TO PAY ATTENTION TO OFFICIAL FLASH FLOOD WATCHES AND WARNINGS. AVOID FLOODED ROADS AND BRIDGES. IT ONLY TAKES TWO FEET OF WATER TO FLOAT A CAR -- SO IF YOU APPROACH A FLOODED ROAD OR BRIDGE, TURN AROUND. BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE FLOOD DANGERS. YOU CAN STAY INFORMED ABOUT FLOOD CONDITIONS BY LISTENING TO THIS STATION.
Information On the Internet: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/