A major winter storm can last for several days and be accompanied by high winds, freezing rain or sleet, heavy snowfall, and cold temperatures. People can become trapped at home, without utilities or other services. Heavy snowfall and blizzards can trap motorists in their cars. Attempting to walk for help in a blizzard can be a deadly decision. Winter storms can make driving and walking extremely hazardous. The aftermath of a winter storm can have an impact on a community or region for days, weeks, or even months. Storm effects such as extremely cold temperatures and snow accumulation, and sometimes coastal flooding, can cause hazardous conditions and hidden problems for people in the affected area.
Hurricanes are most threatening to residents along our nation’s coastlines. But such fierce storms also have been known to build up enough momentum to carry their destructive winds inland for hundreds of miles. Heavy rains, flooding, and tornadoes add to the damage hurricanes can inflict on your home and community.
Forget the notion that “twisters” only happen in the Midwest. Tornadoes have been reported in every state. Although they generally occur during spring and summer, they can happen any time of the year. With winds swirling at 200 miles an hour or more, a tornado can destroy just about anything in its path. Generally, there are weather signs and warnings that will alert you to take precautions.
During heavy rain events, it is common for storm water to cover manholes and underground wastewater pipes. When this occurs, the occurrence of flooding is highly probable. With areas of the City of Laurel being in Flood Plains, residents must be aware of the potential of heavy rains flooding the area and also overflowing the T. Duckett Howard Dam.
A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring and sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.
More than two-thirds of all power outages in the U.S. are caused by weather-related events including thunderstorms, ice storms, heavy winds, and lightning strikes, as well as other natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes. Animals contacting wires, auto accidents damaging poles or other equipment, and other unknown factors can also cause power outages.
Power outages may vary by season, and can last from minutes to hours, even days depending on the severity of the storm or event. If a weather-related emergency causes severe widespread damage to an electrical grid system, it can take several days to physically assess the damage and restore power to all customers. Be sure to report any power outages to your local power carrier as soon as possible.
As temperatures soar and dry conditions are forecasted, area residents and businesses may be advised of the importance of water conservation efforts, especially outside the home. Practicing wise water use in and around the
home is key to ensuring the stewardship of the region’s water resources.