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NOUS41 KGYX 200915  
PNSGYX  
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME  
0515 AM EDT THU JUL 20 2017  
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JULY 17TH  
THROUGH 21ST, HURRICANE AWARENESS WEEK IN NEW ENGLAND. THIS IS THE  
FOURTH IN A SERIES OF FIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS TO BE ISSUED  
BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN GRAY, CONTAINING  
INFORMATION ON HURRICANES AND HURRICANE SAFETY.  
 
INLAND FLOODING FROM TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES  
 
WHEN IT COMES TO HURRICANES, WIND SPEEDS DO NOT TELL THE WHOLE  
STORY. HURRICANES PRODUCE STORM SURGES, TORNADOES, AND OFTEN  
MOST DEADLY OF ALL, INLAND FRESHWATER FLOODING.  
 
WHILE STORM SURGE IS ALWAYS A POTENTIAL THREAT WITH LAND-FALLING  
HURRICANES, MANY MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM INLAND FRESHWATER  
FLOODING. INLAND FLOODING CAN BE A MAJOR THREAT TO COMMUNITIES  
HUNDREDS OF MILES FROM THE COAST AS HEAVY RAIN FALLS FROM THESE  
HUGE TROPICAL AIR MASSES. IN 2011, THE FLOODING CAUSED BY TROPICAL  
STORMS IRENE AND LEE CAUSED CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE AND 36 DEATHS IN  
THE MID ATLANTIC AND NEW ENGLAND STATES. IN 2012, THE REMNANTS  
OF HURRICANE SANDY CAUSED AN ESTIMATED 73 DEATHS AND AN ESTIMATED  
$65 BILLION IN DAMAGES, MOSTLY DUE TO COASTAL AND INLAND FLOODING.  
 
FORTY THREE YEARS AGO, IN 1972, HURRICANE AGNES PRODUCED FLOODS  
IN THE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO 122 DEATHS  
AND $6.4 BILLION IN DAMAGES. AND IN 1955, LONG AFTER THE WINDS  
FROM HURRICANE DIANE HAD SUBSIDED; THE STORM BROUGHT INLAND  
FLOODING TO PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, AND NEW ENGLAND CONTRIBUTING  
TO NEARLY 200 DEATHS AND $4.2 BILLION IN DAMAGES.  
 
FRESHWATER FLOODS ACCOUNTED FOR MORE THAN HALF OF U.S. TROPICAL  
CYCLONE DEATHS FROM 1975-2004 YEARS AND MORE THAN 75% OF THE  
CHILDREN KILLED BY TROPICAL CYCLONES. FLOODING IS ALSO THE  
REASON WHY 63% OF U.S. TROPICAL CYCLONE DEATHS DURING THAT PERIOD  
OCCURRED IN INLAND COUNTIES. AT LEAST 23% OF U.S. TROPICAL  
CYCLONE DEATHS ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE ATTEMPTING TO DRIVE THROUGH  
FLOODED ROADWAYS.  
 
HERE IN NEW ENGLAND, TROPICAL SYSTEMS CAN COMBINE WITH  
MID-LATITUDE WEATHER SYSTEMS (EXTRA-TROPICAL) TO PRODUCE VERY  
HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODING, EVEN WHEN THE HURRICANE OR TROPICAL  
STORM REMAINS WELL OFFSHORE. IN 1996, A COASTAL STORM THAT WAS  
SUPPLIED TROPICAL MOISTURE FROM THE CIRCULATION AROUND HURRICANE  
LILI (WELL OFFSHORE) PRODUCED FROM 4 TO 19 INCHES OF RAIN ACROSS  
SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SOUTHWESTERN MAINE AND WAS  
RESPONSIBLE FOR 1 DROWNING DEATH.  
 
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR HOME FROM FLOODING.  
 
1. DEVELOP A FLOOD EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN.  
2. DETERMINE WHETHER YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD-PRONE AREA.  
3. IF FLOODING IS POSSIBLE, MOVE VALUABLE ITEMS FROM THE BASEMENTS  
OR FIRST FLOOR TO HIGHER FLOORS IN YOUR HOME. HAVE A CHECKLIST  
OF THESE ITEMS IN YOUR EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN.  
4. KEEP ABREAST OF ROAD CONDITIONS THROUGH THE NEWS MEDIA. MOVE TO  
A SAFE AREA BEFORE ACCESS IS CUT OFF BY FLOOD WATER.  
5. IF ADVISED TO EVACUATE, DO SO IMMEDIATELY.  
6. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED ROADWAY. IF THE  
ROADWAY IS FLOODED, TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN.  
 
ALSO, IF YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD-PRONE AREA, CONSIDER PURCHASING FLOOD  
INSURANCE. FLOOD DAMAGE IS NOT USUALLY COVERED BY HOMEOWNERS  
INSURANCE POLICIES. DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS; CHECK YOUR POLICY.  
 
THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM, IS A PRE-DISASTER FLOOD  
MITIGATION AND INSURANCE PROTECTION PROGRAM. THE NATIONAL FLOOD  
INSURANCE PROGRAM MAKES FEDERALLY-BACKED FLOOD INSURANCE  
AVAILABLE TO RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS IN CERTAIN  
COMMUNITIES.  
 
QUESTION OF THE DAY: DO THE STRONGEST HURRICANES PRODUCE THE  
GREATEST RAINFALL AMOUNTS?  
 
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN DETERMINING THE RAINFALL FROM A  
HURRICANE OR TROPICAL STORM IS THE FORWARD SPEED OF THE STORM.  
A SLOW MOVING OR STALLED TROPICAL STORM CAN PRODUCE CONSIDERABLY  
MORE RAINFALL IN A GIVEN AREA THAN A FAST MOVING INTENSE HURRICANE.  
HURRICANE ANDREW PRODUCED RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF BETWEEN 7 AND 8  
INCHES ACROSS THE SOUTH FLORIDA PENINSULA AS IT RAVAGED THE AREA  
WITH STRONG WINDS DURING AUGUST 1992. IN COMPARISON, TROPICAL  
STORM ALBERTO DUMPED MORE THAN 27 INCHES OF RAIN IN AMERICUS,  
GEORGIA (21 INCHES IN 24 HOURS) WHEN IT STRUCK DURING JULY OF 1994.  
IN 1979, TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE BROUGHT 45 INCHES OF RAIN TO  
AN AREA NEAR ALVIN, TEXAS.  
 
FACT FOR THE DAY: HISTORICALLY, STORM SURGE HAD BEEN THE LEADING  
CAUSE OF DEATH DURING HURRICANES; HOWEVER, IMPROVEMENTS IN  
FORECASTING AND COMMUNICATION HAVE ALLOWED POTENTIAL VICTIMS TO  
EVACUATE FROM SURGE PRONE AREAS. THESE IMPROVEMENTS HAVE GREATLY  
REDUCED THE NUMBER OF STORM SURGE DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES. AS  
SEEN IN THE TABLE BELOW, FRESHWATER FLOODING IS BY FAR THE LEADING  
CAUSE OF DEATH FROM TROPICAL CYCLONES.  
 
TROPICAL CYCLONE DEATHS (1970-1999)  
 
CAUSE PERCENT  
FRESHWATER FLOODING 59%  
WIND 12%  
SURF 11%  
OFFSHORE 11%  
TORNADOES 4%  
STORM SURGE 1%  
OTHER 2%  
 
HERE'S A LIST OF THE OTHER TOPICS COVERED IN STATEMENTS ISSUED  
THIS WEEK:  
 
MONDAY - TROPICAL CYCLONES, TROPICAL STORMS, AND  
HURRICANES--THE BASICS  
TUESDAY - HURRICANE WINDS AND TORNADOES  
WEDNESDAY - STORM SURGE AND MARINE SAFETY  
FRIDAY - THE FORECAST PROCESS--STATEMENTS, WATCHES, AND WARNINGS  
 
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT HURRICANES AND HURRICANE SAFETY,  
VISIT THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER'S WEB SITE AT:  
 
HTTP://WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV/  
 

 
 
JENSENIUS  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE  
GRAY...MAINE  
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