• November 25, 2014

Flood prevention still applicable in drought

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Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014 4:30 am

Since 2010, nearby Stillhouse Hollow Lake received around 72 percent of its normal amount of rainfall, meaning it is short about a year’s worth of water, said Daniel Huckaby, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

However, residents should still keep an eye out for dangerous flooding that might occur when rain comes. Huckaby said the speed and duration of a rainfall mixed with the hard compact ground a drought can produce can cause the perfect storm, so to speak.

“The ground gets so hard sometimes that if you get a really heavy rain, really quickly, like the storms we could see in spring, the water can just run off and that can result in flooding and overflows in areas that otherwise wouldn’t flood,” he said.

As flood prevention week ends Saturday, Copperas Cove Fire Department Deputy Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Young offered some advice to help residents prepare. He said the point of flood awareness is to first prevent the loss of life and then property.

“Floods can occur anywhere in the nation. Being prepared ahead of time can reduce the risk of a person being injured or killed,” Young said.

According to the National Weather Service’s flood prevention website, steps residents can take to prepare for a flood beforehand include establishing a communications plan with friends and family, which should include a meet-up spot in case phones are unavailable; preparing a three-day emergency kit with clean water, food and medicine for all members; and knowing if you are in a floodplain.

Additional ways to protect property include marking all electrical breakers clearly, installing check-valves in plumbing to prevent floodwaters from backing up into the drains of your home, and purchasing flood insurance.

Kevin Keller, spokesman for the city, said low-lying areas in Copperas Cove are more at risk for flooding.

“There’s been a known issue with flooding in Copperas Cove right along Nolan Creek,” said Ted Ryan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s probably one of the worst flash-flood locations in north Central Texas.”

The city recently finished several projects to help improve drainage. This year, it completed the $270,000 Western Hills drainage project near Saddle Drive, a project started after a 2007 flood.

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