Mar 02

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March has been designated as Severe Weather Preparedness Month in Estill County and other counties across the state and have designated this month as a time for severe weather preparedness.

We know it’s hard to think about severe weather with all the snow we’ve had, but as the weather begins to get warmer the chance for severe weather increases.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of crazy around the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) office. Between the snow and then the water shortage we weren’t sure if we were coming or going. However we made it through, but this week is going to be interesting as well. The possibility of heavy rain and thunderstorms, flooding, more snow and then more flooding is on the horizon. I’ve spoken with many residents throughout the last 2 weeks and one conversation sticks with me. The lady was extremely nice and just wanted some information, but she ended with, “I just want to get out of this house.” To which I replied, “We just want to go home.” She then began to talk about how she hadn’t thought about that way and began to thank me for all that we do.

The last 2 weeks has been a huge community effort. I want to give a special thanks to all the citizens of Estill County for being patient during this time. I also want to thank all the first responders for enduring the elements to help those in need, especially the Estill County Rescue Squad and Hargett Fire Dept. The State and County Road Departments for working endless hours so that we could drive on the roads. A special thanks to Helping Hands for opening the warming shelter, the Estill County Fair Association for letting us use their facility to store and distribute water from and; the Kiwanis Club, FBLA, and the Estill County School Bus Garage employees for helping us distribute water. I want to personally thank Candie McMaine and Kenny Cole from the Health Dept. they helped us above and beyond what they had to do. Our County Judge Executive Wallace C. Taylor and the Mayors of Irvine and Ravenna for supporting all our efforts.

The Estill County EMA urges you and your family to review these safety tips as we enter the peak severe weather season in Kentucky.

Flash Flooding Safety Rules 

Flash floods and floods are the #1 storm related killer in Kentucky and across the United States.

  • If Driving, DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS! Even if it looks shallow enough to cross. The majority of deaths due to flooding are due to people driving through flooded areas. Water only one foot deep and displace 1500 pounds! Two feet of water can easily carry most vehicles. Roadways concealed by floodwaters may not be intact.
  • If caught outside, go to higher ground immediately! Avoid small rivers or streams, low spots, culverts, or ravines. Do not try to walk through flowing water more than ankle deep, as it only takes six inches of water to knock you off your feet. Do not allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches, or viaducts, storm drains, or other flooded areas.
  • If ordered to evacuate or if rising water is threatening, leave immediately and get to higher ground.

Lightning Safety Rules        

Lightning is the number two storm related killer. In Kentucky, more people are killed by lightning in an average year than tornadoes. Although severe thunderstorm warnings are NOT issued for lightning, you should move to shelter when thunder is heard as lightning can strike 10 to 15 miles away from where the rain is falling.

  • If outside, go to a safe shelter immediately, such as inside a sturdy building. A hard top automobile with the windows up can also offer fair protection.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get out of the water immediately and move to a safe shelter away from the water!
  • If you are in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees.
  • If you feel you hair standing on end, squat with your head between your knees. Do not lie flat!
  • Avoid: Isolated trees or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, convertible automobiles, tractors, and motorcycles.
  • If inside, avoid using the telephone (except for emergencies) or other electrical appliances.
  • Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm. 

Tornado/Severe Thunderstorm Safety Rules

  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  • If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately for safe shelter. Do not seek shelter in an underpass.
  • If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
  • Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes and high winds causes most fatalities and injuries.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes or high winds. You should leave a mobile home and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy building or storm shelter.

Stop by the Estill EMA/CSEPP office and receive your FREE Weather Radio.


Permanent link to this article: https://estillcountyema.net/march-severe-weather-month/