As our recovery efforts in the states and territories affected by Irene continue, we’re closely monitoring tropical storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic. While Katia is currently not a threat to the U.S., those in coastal and inland areas around the Gulf of Mexico should closely monitor tropical storm Lee. Forecasts from the National Weather Service are calling for heavy rains and potential flooding and flash flooding in areas affected by Lee, so make sure you’re taking steps to keep your family safe:
- Don’t put yourself at risk, follow the instructions of local officials, and if they give the order to evacuate - evacuate.
- Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
While it’s still too early to tell exactly where Lee will make the most impact, here’s a reminder about flooding terminology in case your area may experience heavy rainfall:
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
We’ve deployed an Incident Management and Assistance Team is to Louisiana to assist the state with coordination, and a FEMA liaison officer has been deployed to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness emergency operation center. In coordination with states, additional liaisons will be deployed to other states and additional assistance will be made available, as needed.
Remember to follow local TV and radio reports for the latest conditions in your area, and visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov (or mobile.weather.gov on your phone) for the latest severe weather watches/warnings in your area.