On Saturday at 4:36 a.m. the NWS Fort Worth TX issued an updated flood watch valid until Sunday at noon. The watch is for Fannin, Lamar, Denton, Collin, Hunt, Delta, Hopkins, Tarrant, Dallas, Rockwall, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Rains, Erath, Hood, Somervell, Johnson, Ellis, Henderson, Comanche, Mills, Hamilton, Bosque, Hill, Navarro, Lampasas, Coryell and McLennan counties.
Flooding caused by excessive rainfall continues to be possible for portions of north central and northeast Texas, including in north central Texas, Bosque, Collin, Comanche, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lampasas, McLennan, Mills, Navarro, Rockwall, Somervell and Tarrant counties. In northeast Texas, Delta, Henderson, Hopkins, Lamar, Rains and Van Zandt through Sunday morning.
According to the NWS, "Flooding may occur in poor-drainage and urban areas. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Low-water crossings may become flooded. Extensive street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers are possible."
According to the NWS, "You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop."
This watch is in effect until Sunday at noon.
Ways to stay safe during a flood according to the NWS
If you live in a flood-prone area or are camping in a low-lying area, get to higher ground immediately. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home when you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances. 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. Don’t walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 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 if possible.
When heavy rain occurs, there is a risk of flooding, particularly in low-lying and flood-prone regions. It is important to never attempt to drive through water on the road, regardless of how deep it appears. According to the NWS, as little as 12 inches of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles.
What to do in the rain on the road?
• Turn on headlights — Even in daylight, using headlights can help improve visibility and let other drivers know where you are.
• While driving — Stick to the middle lanes and stay on elevated ground. Rainwater tends to accumulate at the road edges.
• Keep clear of puddles — Driving through puddles or low rainwater areas can cause vehicles to hydroplane or skid out of control
• Don't tail large vehicles closely — Trucks or buses can kick up a water spray that obstructs visibility.
• Avoid flooded areas — When encountering a flooded road, do a U-turn and head back. The strong currents from flash floods can pull drivers off roadways. Driving through deep water can also negatively affect a vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems.
What is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning is the term for when a vehicle begins sliding uncontrollably on wet roads.
This happens when water in front of the tire builds up faster than the vehicle’s weight can push water out of the way. The water pressure then causes the vehicle to rise and slide on a thin layer of water between the tires and the road, making the driver lose control. Hydroplaning is primarily caused by three factors:
1. Vehicle speed — When a vehicle’s speed increases, the tire-traction grip and ability to control the vehicle decreases. Drive at a reduced speed during wet weather.
2. Water depth — The deeper the water, the sooner a vehicle loses traction on the road. It doesn’t matter how deep the water is, even a thin layer can lead to hydroplaning.
3. Tire tread depth — Checking your tire tread before hitting the road is important, as low or no tread can lead to sliding.
In the event of your vehicle hydroplaning, here’s what to know:
• Ease off the accelerator — Step off the gas to slow down the vehicle until the tires find traction.
• Turn into the skid — Turning into the skid can help the vehicle’s tires realign to regain control.
• Make sure the tires reconnect with the road — During the skid, wait until the tires reconnect with the road and then gently straighten the wheels to regain control.
• Brake gently as needed — Brake normally if the vehicle has anti-lock brakes and pump brakes gently if in an older vehicle.
Source: The National Weather Service
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