Hurricane Charley Could Bring Flooding, Thunderstorms and Tornadoes


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Aug. 13, 2004

 

Hurricane Charley Could Bring Flooding, Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

 

Fairfax County is preparing for Hurricane Charley and the heavy rains, flooding and tornados that may accompany its arrival. According to the National Weather Service, the hurricane is expected to weaken as it moves over land before reaching Fairfax County. However, heavy rains and occasional strong winds are expected. Thunderstorms and tornadoes can also occur with tropical storms and hurricanes as they move over land. Fairfax County personnel are monitoring the storm's progress and making preparations to respond and officials urge residents to prepare now for these events.

This is a good time to review your family disaster plan and be prepared to implement it. The following advice may help protect lives and reduce damage before, during and after severe weather events.

If a tornado watch or warning is issued:

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Determine a place for family members to gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be a basement, center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor.
  • If you are in a high-rise building and do not have enough time to get to the lowest floor, go to a hallway in the center of the building.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area. If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.
  • Follow instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

After the tornado:

  • Beware of fallen power lines and stay away from damaged areas. If you see a fallen line, call your local utility company, either Dominion Virginia Power at 1-888-667-3000, TTY 711, or NOVEC at 1-888-335-0500, TTY 711.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for information and instructions.
  • Use a flashlight, not candles, to inspect your home for damage.

If flooding is in the forecast:

  • Move to higher ground, away from creeks, streams, rivers and storm drains. Flash floods can sweep over an area without warning, and you may only have minutes to get to safety.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or place of business to a safe area away from the high winds or flooding. Keep your vehicle fueled and have an updated local map in your car.
  • Store extra drinking water. Fill up clean plastic bottles with clean water if you live in a flood- prone area.
  • Move your valuables and furniture to higher floors of your home.
  • Check your gutters to make sure they are clear of leaves and debris.
  • Never walk, drive or swim through swiftly moving water. Avoid already-flooded areas. Floodwaters that are above your knees are dangerous. Turn around and go back to higher ground.

After a flood:

  • When it is safe to return to your home, before entering, be sure that the structure is not visibly damaged and in danger of collapsing.
  • Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Do not turn on damaged electrical appliances because of the hazards of electric shock or fire.
  • Watch for live electrical wires. Be sure the electrical current is turned off and do not attempt to turn on any electrically-operated light or appliance until an electrician has checked your system.

For more information on tornado or flood preparedness, visit the Fairfax County Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov or call the Fairfax County Emergency Information Line at 703-817-7771, TTY 711. Visit the National Weather Service's Web site at www.nws.noaa.gov for the latest weather information.

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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