Forecasters warn of severe flooding along N.J. rivers, so residents flee and schools close
New Jersey is currently facing a severe weather crisis characterized by heavy flooding, prompting a series of emergency measures and precautions. According to NJ.com, residents have been forced to evacuate, and schools have closed as forecasters warn of significant flooding near the state’s rivers.
This situation has arisen following a rainstorm that occurred on Sunday and Monday, leading to serious flooding in various regions of New Jersey. As a response, school districts across the state announced schedule changes for Tuesday, December 19, to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for several counties in New Jersey, reflecting the seriousness of the situation. Specifically, flood warnings were declared for Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties until Monday morning, and a separate warning was issued for Atlantic County until Monday afternoon. These warnings highlight the imminent risk of flooding caused by excessive rainfall.
Furthermore, areas in New Jersey were under a flood watch from Sunday evening through Monday evening due to a strong coastal storm expected to bring heavy rain to the region. This storm has compounded the existing challenges, necessitating the evacuation of residents and closure of schools as precautionary measures.
This situation in New Jersey is a clear example of the impacts of extreme weather events, which are becoming increasingly frequent and intense due to climate change. The state’s response, including the evacuation of residents and closure of schools, demonstrates a proactive approach to ensuring public safety in the face of such environmental threats.
The involvement of various agencies, including the National Weather Service and local school districts, underscores the collaborative effort required to effectively manage and mitigate the risks associated with severe weather events.
In light of the recent heavy flooding in New Jersey, it’s imperative to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions. Here are some essential safety tips for residents to consider during such extreme weather events:
- Stay Informed: Keep track of the latest weather updates and warnings from reliable sources like the National Weather Service. Pay attention to emergency alerts and instructions from local authorities.
- Evacuation Plans: If you are in an area prone to flooding, have an evacuation plan in place. Know your route and have a designated safe place to go. Follow evacuation orders without delay.
- Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Prepare an Emergency Kit: Have an emergency kit ready with essentials like water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies.
- Protect Your Home: If time allows, move valuable items to higher levels, turn off utilities at the main switches, and disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Check for Structural Damage: Before re-entering your home after a flood, check for any visible structural damage, like warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes.
- Avoid Downed Power Lines: Be aware of the risk of electric shock in flooded areas, especially around downed power lines. Report them to the power company.
- Stay Away from Damaged Areas: Unless you are part of emergency services or have a specific reason to be there, avoid areas that have been hit hard by the flood.
- Clean and Disinfect: Floodwater can be contaminated. When returning home, wear protective clothing and diligently clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
- Mental Health: Acknowledge that it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed during such events. Reach out for support if needed, and check on neighbors, especially those who may require additional assistance.
Remember, your safety and the safety of your loved ones is paramount. It’s better to be overly cautious than to underestimate the risks associated with flooding.