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Old 05-08-2019, 08:42 AM
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Default Survival advice for floods



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Houston and other regions got another taste of flooding this week.
It seems like some people haven't learned much since the Harvey floods.

I'm no flood expert, but did learn a few things. Perhaps others can add to the things to be careful of.

1) Until you can prove otherwise, assume flood waters are contaminated with sewage and every sort of life taking bacteria and disease you can imagine.
Guys that break out the kayaks and swim trunks to have fun are putting themselves at risk. One almost died during Harvey from a mosquito bite obtained while paddling his kayak through a flooded neighborhood. He was infected with flesh eating bacteria. Had several surgeries in the next 3 days and looked like a rag doll that had been sewn back together. Horrific, agonizing, life threatening and no doubt very expensive lesson.

2) Same goes for people cleaning up flood damaged homes. Ripping out drywall etc. Take precautions like you are wading into an ebola ward. Because that isn't far from the truth. Several accounts of people losing their lives after Harvey.

3) If you are driving and can't see how deep the "puddles" are, just stop. I ended up destroying a car by accidentally driving into a dip that had just flooded to a depth of about 5 ft. Destroyed the engine, raised insurance rates, and spent all kinds of time waiting to get towed (towtrucks are crazy busy during a flood, so you will be waiting a long time).

4) If you do take your 4 wheel drive truck into high water, check and or replace all fluids. (rear end, transmission, oil, transfer case oil).

Having some sort of water shoes, umbrella, window punch, poncho, lights and DEET in the vehicle is a must if you live in a flood area.

Don't be fearless. Respect the hazards.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:52 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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Get a hatchet for the attic - I need to do this. If you have to evacuate to the attic you can chop your way out.

I also got a life vest that zips for my husband, things get bad I am putting him in that and he will float, no worries about keeping his head above water while s hits the fan.

Not so sure what I am doing with the cats, but based on videos I have seen online they can swim pretty well in a pinch.

I need to get a pelican and put prescriptions and important papers into it.

Thanks for the reminders. I already have flood insurance.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:09 AM
ManyFeathers ManyFeathers is offline
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Let this serve as a warning to all that want to move to this area

It's a subtropical climate meaning:

It rains (a lot)
It floods (a lot)
We get tropical storms
We get hurricanes
We get tornados
We have skeeters the size of birds

This is not new
This is not man made global warming

I just can't see the hype and sensationalizing of the news and weather channels when this happens routinely

Why a reporter feels the need to stand in rain and water to interview another standing in the rain or water.....especially the ones with no teeth, I'll never know

One other item:

Cars don't float unless they are going too fast....
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:35 AM
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It’s just a bit of rain.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:42 AM
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.....and if it wasn't white capping...he wouldn't even need the windshield wipers on!
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:05 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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It always floods on the lousy part of town because they don't have the tax base and political guts to go after the flood control district.

Paratransit serves mainly the lousy parts of times because that's where you find your poor people. I venture to say 80% of the "clients" could drive, they are just too cheap to do so. So paratransit is always going in these flood prone areas.

And flooding. They have gotten to the point if it gets bad they make everyone pull over and no more trips for the day, you are stranded wherever they left you.

A few years ago we had some nasty floods around the Greenspoint area. One driver's cab got flooded. He was on the radio screaming for help because the water was rising and he couldn't swim. They told him you had better learn, real fast. He did.

They changed the policy after that and allowed the driver to avoid flooded areas. And whoever was in the area would just have to wait until the water went down.

We had bad flooding in SW Houston some years ago, and they stopped all service through the whole area, stranding us at work. We managed to get a ride home from a regular cab who was in the area.

So one prep for us in flood season - carrying cash to pay for a cab.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:22 AM
FalconsBravesHawks FalconsBravesHawks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleKitty View Post
I also got a life vest that zips for my husband, things get bad I am putting him in that and he will float, no worries about keeping his head above water while s hits the fan.
you should buy some lead weights to attach to your husband instead of a vest just messin!
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:26 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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Nah, business is in his name, can only be operated by "a blind vendor". So unless I meet up with another blind guy real quick I'd be unemployed if I killed him.

Besides, he is good to the cats. I wish you could see him curled up in bed with Baby Girl.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:48 PM
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I may be wrong here. But I'd expect anyone would have advance notice of a possible flood. Short of a dam breaking just up-river, you'd know the rains are going to pose an issue. Would that not be the time to get out?

I know... I heard all about the poor people in NO when that whole Katrina event occurred. But they could have gone maybe by spending a few dollars they shouldn't have to spend for that. They didn't and suffered.

When I get an idea I am going to get hard by a storm or anything else, I prepare. I live on high ground and would be unlikely to be flooded, but even very heavy rains can cause an issue for me. People need to be moving when something that may affect them before it happens. Prep for that or don't... If you do, you may be okay. If you don't you will suffer.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:00 PM
InOmaha InOmaha is offline
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We had lots of flooding this year for extended periods with rivers flowing over highways.

The water might be 4" deep but some of the roads looked like this under the water surface.



So the actual depth can vary considerably depending on where you are driving. It's like jogging on a narrow mountain pass with a steep drop off while blind folded. Sort of a dumb idea.

I'm not sure if most cars get swept away by the water or simply hit a deep spot and go under. The results are the same.

There were rescuers picking up animals by boat and several people were using poles to check the depths of the path as people in hip waders pushed the flat bottom boat along.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:14 PM
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A lot of times the weather guys over hype a storm system approaching (it isn't always a tropical thing that gets us in Houston). They say it will be really bad, a foot of rain, etc.

Then we get 1/4 inch.

Now I was one of the few to prepare for Harvey. I remember I was at Walmart buying 1 case of water (just to top off supplies) and there was a guy there looking at them deciding if he should buy. I told him he should because an event was coming, he flipped his hand at me and walked off.

It was almost on us by the time the majority of Houston realized we had a major flood event on the way. Then the panic and people getting stuck/drowned in the flood water. Meanwhile, I was at home in my house on my little hill (several feet above street level) posting here.

The weather men have burned a LOT of credibility crying wolf at every cumulus that comes along.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfScout View Post
I may be wrong here. But I'd expect anyone would have advance notice of a possible flood. Short of a dam breaking just up-river, you'd know the rains are going to pose an issue. Would that not be the time to get out?

I know... I heard all about the poor people in NO when that whole Katrina event occurred. But they could have gone maybe by spending a few dollars they shouldn't have to spend for that. They didn't and suffered.

When I get an idea I am going to get hard by a storm or anything else, I prepare. I live on high ground and would be unlikely to be flooded, but even very heavy rains can cause an issue for me. People need to be moving when something that may affect them before it happens. Prep for that or don't... If you do, you may be okay. If you don't you will suffer.
An inch of rain in the wrong spot can turn your normal rainy night into a flood situation. I can not afford to pack everything important into the truck and evacuate every time we have a bad storm. My wife and I still have to go to work and can not be 50 miles away waiting it out. The chickens do not like the rain but the really do not want to go into the cages for transport.

The only thing we can do is hope that NEXT time the early warning systems are working and we do not get awoken by water in the house. We know what to do if it happens but we may only have 30 minutes to work with before the water is over the road higher than my lifted truck.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
Houston and other regions got another taste of flooding this week.
It seems like some people haven't learned much since the Harvey floods.

I'm no flood expert, but did learn a few things. Perhaps others can add to the things to be careful of.

1) Until you can prove otherwise, assume flood waters are contaminated with sewage and every sort of life taking bacteria and disease you can imagine.
Guys that break out the kayaks and swim trunks to have fun are putting themselves at risk. One almost died during Harvey from a mosquito bite obtained while paddling his kayak through a flooded neighborhood. He was infected with flesh eating bacteria. Had several surgeries in the next 3 days and looked like a rag doll that had been sewn back together. Horrific, agonizing, life threatening and no doubt very expensive lesson.

2) Same goes for people cleaning up flood damaged homes. Ripping out drywall etc. Take precautions like you are wading into an ebola ward. Because that isn't far from the truth. Several accounts of people losing their lives after Harvey.

3) If you are driving and can't see how deep the "puddles" are, just stop. I ended up destroying a car by accidentally driving into a dip that had just flooded to a depth of about 5 ft. Destroyed the engine, raised insurance rates, and spent all kinds of time waiting to get towed (towtrucks are crazy busy during a flood, so you will be waiting a long time).

4) If you do take your 4 wheel drive truck into high water, check and or replace all fluids. (rear end, transmission, oil, transfer case oil).

Having some sort of water shoes, umbrella, window punch, poncho, lights and DEET in the vehicle is a must if you live in a flood area.

Don't be fearless. Respect the hazards.
Even if you can see the depth of the water over the road, there may not be anything below supporting that surface.

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Old 05-08-2019, 09:22 PM
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I learned an important lesson in the early '70's while helping during a flood near St. Louis. I stopped at a farm house to see if they needed help and I found the farmer and his son in the basement sealing the floor drains and opening all the water taps to flood his basement. He told me that when the levee breaks water rushing in can cause a sealed house to float out of the earth until it gets enough water in it to sink back down. If it floats dirt can fall into the hole so when the house settles back down it might settle at an angle. He told me to go up the road to see a tilted house. He and his dad had done this 11 times and the house (three story built in the '20's). We left him with a couple inches of water on the floor and all the basement windows wide open, all electrical items where in the attic, and all his farm equipment was on high ground. 10 hours later the levee did break and he had 20 feet of water in his house.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfScout View Post
I may be wrong here. But I'd expect anyone would have advance notice of a possible flood. Short of a dam breaking just up-river, you'd know the rains are going to pose an issue. Would that not be the time to get out?

I know... I heard all about the poor people in NO when that whole Katrina event occurred. But they could have gone maybe by spending a few dollars they shouldn't have to spend for that. They didn't and suffered.

When I get an idea I am going to get hard by a storm or anything else, I prepare. I live on high ground and would be unlikely to be flooded, but even very heavy rains can cause an issue for me. People need to be moving when something that may affect them before it happens. Prep for that or don't... If you do, you may be okay. If you don't you will suffer.
Maybe, but they're called Flash Floods for a reason.
Not so much a rising body of water, but a moving body of water that is searching the lowest point. If you're between the two, you're in danger.

Happens all the time in 'flat' Kansas. Washes cars away, people, etc...
Heed your warnings. Do not drive into inundated areas.
Oh, and do what I did, buy a place on a hill...
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:35 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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I am on a modest grade but the house beside me is very steep on it's little hill. Other neighbors were begging to park in his (elevated) driveway during Harvey.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfScout View Post
I may be wrong here. But I'd expect anyone would have advance notice of a possible flood. Short of a dam breaking just up-river, you'd know the rains are going to pose an issue. Would that not be the time to get out?

I know... I heard all about the poor people in NO when that whole Katrina event occurred. But they could have gone maybe by spending a few dollars they shouldn't have to spend for that. They didn't and suffered.

When I get an idea I am going to get hard by a storm or anything else, I prepare. I live on high ground and would be unlikely to be flooded, but even very heavy rains can cause an issue for me. People need to be moving when something that may affect them before it happens. Prep for that or don't... If you do, you may be okay. If you don't you will suffer.
Sometimes inland gets caught out as a culmination of rivers and dams swelling.


Anyway flash floods can live up to the reputation.
https://youtu.be/_rnbd6u6gPw
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:58 AM
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I've been through a couple of floods. When the authorities or powers that be advise yo to evacuate, do so. Otherwise you might be trapped without help. They have the means to assist you at this time but later on they might not.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:28 AM
RobertSWMissouri RobertSWMissouri is offline
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Why would you want to live in an area that floods ?
Born and raised in FL, up on a hill. Had a friend in a flood areas, built up on stilts. Moved to another area, built up on the high land. New neighbor next door started to build IN THE LOW AREA part of his land... I went to offer some advice about how much a hurricane can... got interrupted to tell me he was an architect and was building up on piers.. OK. He build.. up on 18" piers... in an area I have run a boat through with at least 6' of water.... when he had high ground a few hundred feet away.
I deal with flooding all the time, the farm here in the Ozarks is on a river. Did my research, the barn is above the 500 year flood level BUT I have an area of high hillside I keep in heavy ceders to use as emergency animal shelter just in case. I built the house on the hill overlooking the river valley. The road out, in either direction crosses a wet weather creek (but I have a neighbors 'road' I can take the tractor or 4WD out and avoid both of them). I have driven through water many times... but unless CLEAR and I could SEE what was under the water, checked with a pole a couple feet at a time. I have seen BOTH ways have a good 3 foot drop off in the in the middle of the road.... I loose fences to flooding... but, have discovered high tensile smooth 12.5g electrified with massive corners and line posts (T-posts) 50 feet apart almost immune to flood damage and am slowly replacing all fences in flood areas. For MOST of the flood area (and it may be a decade between floods, or 2-3 in one year or two years back to back) I have planted an 8 foot wide bamboo strip (that I can mow on each side of to control) that in a few more years I HOPE will 'filter' the flood waters - it's not the water that does fence damage, it's the brush / logs / junk floating along in the water. I recently saw a row of houses built ON FLOOD PLAIN not far from here... NOT ELEVATED... they will flood, sooner or later even if it's 50 years. I sure hope they found an insurance company stupid enough to sell them flood insurance.. I sure expect that they will COMPLAIN when a flood does happen... IF i just HAD to have a house in an area that may/would flood some time... and could not have up on poles... I would at least have the downstairs built WATERPROOF. ONe big family room with tile floors and concrete walls.... no wood, no carpet, no drywall etc.. all of this just makes common sense to me but ??????
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:19 AM
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Let's start with the basics - when was the last time you went swimming? Not just splashing around but doing laps in the pool? How long can you swim underwater? How long can you tread water? Think you are good? Do it fully clothed.
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