Update: The flash flood warning is expected to expire at 4:45 a.m. (2024)

The warning was for Allegheny, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

"The heavy rain has ended. Flooding is no longer expected to pose a threat. Please continue to heed remaining road closures," states the National Weather Service.

Update: The flash flood warning is expected to expire at 4:45 a.m. (1)

Breaking down weather alerts: advisories, watches, and warnings

  • Flash flood warning: Take action!

A flash flood warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood-prone area, move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

  • Flood warning: Take action!

A flood warning is declared when flooding is on the verge of happening or is already underway.

  • Flood advisory: Be aware:

A flood advisory is released when flooding is not expected to reach a severity level necessitating a warning. Nonetheless, it can still cause considerable inconvenience and, without exercising caution, potentially lead to situations that threaten life and/or property.

  • Flood watch: Be prepared:

A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It doesn't guarantee that flooding will occur, but it signifies that the possibility exists.

Weather service flood safety guidelines: Weathering the storm

In flood-prone regions or while camping in low-lying areas, understanding and following the weather service flood safety guidelines can be a lifesaver:

1. Seek higher ground:

  • If you reside in a flood-prone region or are camping in low-lying terrain, the first step to safety is relocating to higher ground.

2. Follow evacuation orders:

  • If local authorities issue an evacuation order, heed it promptly. Prior to leaving, secure your home by locking it.

3. Disconnect utilities and appliances:

  • If time allows, disconnect your utilities and appliances. This reduces the risk of electrical hazards during flooding.

4. Avoid basem*nts and submerged areas:

  • Avoid basem*nts or rooms submerged in water with electrical outlets or cords. Preventing electrical accidents is crucial.

5. Evacuate promptly for safety:

  • If you notice sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping, or popping sounds, evacuate without delay. Do not enter water that may carry an electrical charge.

6. Stay away from floodwaters:

  • Never attempt to walk through floodwaters, even if they appear shallow. Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can forcefully sweep you off your feet.

7. Seek higher ground when trapped:

  • Should you become trapped by moving water, reach the highest point possible and dial 911 to contact emergency services.

During periods of heavy rainfall, especially in low-lying and flood-prone areas, the risk of flooding escalates. Remember this crucial advice: never attempt to drive through water on the road, even if it appears shallow. According to the weather service, as little as 12 inches of rapidly flowing water can carry away most vehicles. Stay safe by being prepared and informed.

Navigating rainy roads: Safety tips for wet weather

Rain can turn roads into hazards. Stay informed and follow these weather service tips to ensure safety during heavy rainfall:

Beware of rapid water flow:

  • During heavy rain, avoid parking or walking near culverts or drainage ditches, where swift-moving water can pose a serious risk.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • Adhere to the two-second rule for maintaining a safe following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. In heavy rain, allow an additional two seconds of distance to compensate for reduced traction and braking effectiveness.

Reduce speed and drive cautiously:

  • On wet roads, reducing your speed is crucial. Ease off the gas pedal gradually and avoid abrupt braking to prevent skidding.

Choose your lane wisely:

  • Stick to the middle lanes on multi-lane roads to minimize the risk of hydroplaning, as water tends to accumulate in outer lanes.

Prioritize visibility:

  • Enhance your visibility in heavy rain by activating your headlights. Be particularly vigilant for vehicles in blind spots, as rain-smeared windows can obscure them.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • The initial half-hour of rain is when roads are slickest due to a mixture of rain, grime, and oil. Exercise heightened caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Don't follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. Take care when passing them as well; if you must pass, do so quickly and safely.

Mind your windshield wipers:

  • Overloaded wiper blades can hinder visibility. If rain severely limits your sight, pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Seek refuge at rest areas or protected spots.
  • If the roadside is your only option, pull off as far as possible, preferably past the end of a guard rail, and wait until the storm passes. Keep your headlights on and turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers of your position.

By following these safety measures, you can significantly reduce risks and ensure your well-being when heavy rain pours down. Stay informed about weather conditions and heed advice from local authorities to make your journey safe and sound.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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Update: The flash flood warning is expected to expire at 4:45 a.m. (2024)
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