CFD Urges Citizens to be Attentive as Hurricane Hermine Approaches

By: Brick Lewis Posted in Uncategorized

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Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins encourages citizens of the City of Columbia and Richland County to remain vigilant over the next several days as the potential for flooding and flash floods due to Hurricane Hermine.

The Columbia Fire Department is ready to respond for any incident as a result of the pending weather conditions.  Citizens can assist by remaining off the roadways if inclement weather occurs.

Moving water is a very powerful force that is easily underestimated, even by firefighters. Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot and typically flows downstream at 6–12 mph. Six inches of water can sweep a person off their feet; only 1–2 feet of water can cost lives; and 2 feet of water can float a car. The U.S. National Weather Service shows through the following video link, https://youtu.be/eI6mIlHKrVY the dangers of driving through flooded waters.

People with life-threatening emergencies should contact 911.

Chief Jenkins urges residents to follow these safety tips (additional: http://www.ready.gov/floods) during and after flooding:

During A Flood

 Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc.). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

  • Water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Remain aware and monitor local radio and television outlets. Avoid flood waters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  • Stay Informed: Monitor local media (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.
  • Practice Electrical Safety: Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises –get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!
  • Avoid Flood waters: Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
  • Obey Evacuation Orders: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.

After A Flood

  • After a flood, listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Even if the roadway of a bridge or elevated highway looks normal, the support structures below may be damaged.
  • Stay clear of downed power lines and report them to your power company.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly to foundations. Stay out of any building that is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and other harmful chemicals.
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