ANNAPOLIS - In lieu of the recent heavy rains and flash flooding throughout the state, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) today reminded people to exercise extreme caution when encountering rain-swollen rivers and roadways. As of today, there have been three confirmed fatalities caused by floodwaters. In addition, two more individuals are missing and presumed drowned in Frederick County.
The biggest cause of flood-related deaths and injuries is lack of public understanding of the severity and danger involved with floods and flash floods. By remembering the following facts and warnings, individuals can help protect themselves during flood events.
* Flooded creeks and streams are unpredictable. Even though the surface water may appear smooth, the water is moving very fast.
* Flooded streams and rivers are not safe for recreational boating. Many canoeists and kayakers have been rescued from dangerous rapids in rain-swollen streams and rivers.
* Never let children play near creeks or storm drains when the water is rising or high. Swimming skills are no guarantee of survival should they get swept up in a flooded creek or stream.
* Floods carry debris or garbage in the water, including tires, shopping carts, furniture and large appliances. These items can easily injure or trap a person under water.
Don't go after the victim! You could become one yourself.If someone falls in or is trapped in floodwaters, remember:
* Do NOT go after the victim—you could become one yourself!
* If possible, throw the victim something to use as a flotation device (life jacket, throw ring, foam ice chest).
* Call 911. Police and Fire and Rescue personnel are trained for these incidents. Make sure you give the 911 operators a good location. Rescue workers cannot help if they do not know where you are.