According to the National Weather Service, Heavy rainfall throughout Thursday may lead to localized flooding in several regions of South Florida. It's also worth noting that "there is potential for heavy rainfall on Friday as well, which could lead to localized flooding. The greatest risk will be for recently saturated locations along the east coast."
Floods often occur in urban areas during periods of heavy rain, per NOAA. "Rooftops funnel rainfall to the ground below, and paved surfaces such as highways and parking lots prevent the ground from absorbing the rain." According to the CDC, you should never walk or drive through floodwaters as they might contain things that can cause harm. For example:
- Downed power lines
- Human and livestock waste
- Household, medical, and industrial hazardous waste (chemical, biological, and radiological)
- Coal ash waste that can contain carcinogenic compounds such as arsenic, chromium, and mercury
- Other contaminants that can lead to illness
- Physical objects such as lumber, vehicles, and debris
- Wild or stray animals such as rodents and snakes
Since localized flooding is a possibility in South Florida, you should be prepared to take precautions to reduce the likelihood of flooding in your home. FEMA recommends cleaning and maintaining gutters, downspouts, and splash pads to ensure that rainwater from your roof flows easily away from your home.
It's a good idea to see if any nearby drainage ditches or storm drains are clear of debris. If your home lies below the flood elevation, protect any valuable possessions by moving them upstairs to a safe location. Also, if you have a watertight container, placing valuable documents and items inside can reduce the chance of them being damaged by floodwater.
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