Flood Damage >> Flood Protection Methods

Illinois can flood in any season. Floods have been caused by localized storms, rain over severaldays on saturated ground, snow melt, and ice jams. Over the last two decades, Flood Protection Methods a significant floodhas occurred somewhere in the state each year.

Many of them received a state or federal disasterdeclaration.Overbank flooding: The most common and Flood Protection Methods most damaging floods occur along the state'srivers and streams and this is called overbank flooding. Most floods are caused by too muchprecipitation in the watershed.

Larger rivers respond more slowly to rain and runoff than do thesmaller streams. But when floods do occur on the large rivers, they can last for days or weeks.In urban areas, flash flooding can occur where impervious surfaces, gutters and storm sewersincrease rain and Flood Protection Methods snowmelt runoff to the receiving stream. Flash floods also can be caused bydam failure, the release of ice-jam flooding, or the collapse of a debris dam.

Drainage problems: Flooding can also occur in streets when rainwater can't flow into a stormsewer. Basements can flood when rainwater can't flow away from the house or when the sewersback up. These problems are usually caused by heavy local rains and Flood Protection Methods are often not related tooverbank flooding or floodplain locations.

Sewer backup: Sanitary sewers should not be affected by stormwater because they are separatefrom the storm sewers. However, there can be cross connections and leaks in sewer pipes thatreceive inflows and Flood Protection Methods infiltration whichcan overload a sanitary line duringwet weather.

With no place to go,sewers back up and flow into thelowest opening in the sewer line.Sanitary sewers back up into basements and Flood Protection Methods storm sewers back up intostreets.Impact of flooding: Most floodingin northeastern Illinois is slowmoving and shallow. However, thisdoes not mean that floodwaters aresafe.

A car will float in less than 2feet of moving water and can beswept downstream into deeper waters(see graphic). This is one reasonfloods kill more people trapped invehicles than anywhere else. People die of heart attacks, Flood Protection Methods especially from exertion during a flood fight.

Electrocution is a causeof flood deaths, claiming lives in flooded areas that carry a live current created when electricalcomponents short out. Floods also can damage gas lines, floors, Flood Protection Methods and stairs, creating secondaryhazards such as gas leaks, unsafe structures, and fires.

Health: Floodwaters carry whatever was on the ground that the upstream runoff picked up,including dirt, oil, animal waste, and lawn, farm and industrial chemicals. Pastures and areaswhere cattle and Flood Protection Methods hogs are kept can contribute polluted waters to the receiving streams.

Overloaded sewer lines back up into low lying areas and some homes. Even though diluted byflood waters, raw sewage can be a breeding ground for bacteria, such as e coli, and other diseasecausing agents.Another type of health problem comes after the wateris gone. Flood Protection Methods

Stagnant pools become breeding grounds formosquitoes, and wet areas of a building that have notbeen cleaned breed mold and mildew. A building thatis not thoroughly and properly cleaned becomes ahealth hazard, Flood Protection Methods especially for small children and theelderly.

Another health hazard occurs when heatingducts in a forced-air system are not properly cleanedafter inundation. When the furnace or Flood Protection Methods air conditioneris turned on, the sediments left in the ducts arecirculated throughout the building and breathed in bythe occupants.Buildings: Due to the relatively low velocities andshallow flood depths in the area, the most commontype of building damage inflicted by a flood is causedby soaking.

When soaked, many materials changetheir composition or shape. Wet wood will swell and,if dried too quickly, will crack, split or warp. Plywoodcan come apart. Gypsum wallboard will fall apart if itis bumped before drying out. Flood Protection Methods

The longer thesematerials are wet, the more moisture, sediment andpollutants they will absorb.Soaking can cause extensive damage to householdgoods. Wooden furniture may become so badlywarped that it cannot be used. Other furnishings such as upholstery, carpeting, mattresses, Flood Protection Methods and books usually are not worth drying out and restoring.

Electrical appliances and gasoline engineswill not work safely until they are professionally dried and cleaned.In short, while a building may look sound and unharmed after a flood, the waters can cause a lotof damage. As shown in the above photo, to properly clean a flooded building, the walls andfloors should be stripped, cleaned, Flood Protection Methods and allowed to dry before being recovered. This can takeweeks and is expensive.

It is better to be prepared and prevent flood damage. Check with your local building, planning or Flood Protection Methods engineering department on flooding in your area.9 Where does the water come from?9 Are you in the mapped Special Flood Hazard Area or floodway?9

How bad has it been in the past?9 How bad could it be? (Remember, the next flood can be worse than the last one.)9 What is an appropriate flood protection level? (How high should you prepare for?)2. Check out your local drainage situation.9 Flood Protection Methods

Does water flow away from your house or does it tend to stand next to your walls?9 Is the ditch, stream or storm sewer that takes water away clear of debris or obstructions?9 Do the downspouts from your roof gutters direct water well away from your house?9 Do you have a sump pump? If so, Flood Protection Methods does it direct water well away from your house?9

If you are in a city or village, ask your local public works office if your area is served bya combined or Flood Protection Methods separate sewer system.3. Prepare for flooding by doing the following:9 Know the flood safety guidance on the back of this guide.9 Mark your fuse or breaker box to show the circuits to the floodable areas.9

Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house when a flood comes.9 Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go to (see inside cover).9 Make a household inventory, Flood Protection Methods especially of basement contents.9

Put insurance policies, Flood Protection Methods valuable papers, medicine, etc., in a safeplace.9 Develop a disaster response plan, get a copy of the brochure"Your Family Disaster Plan" from your local Red Cross chapteror check the Red Cross' website for ideas: www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/familyplan.html9

Put cleaning supplies, batteries, camera, waterproof boots, etc.in a safe place.4. Read the next section on construction and stream dumpingregulations. Follow these rules, get permits for all your work, andreport violations to your building department.5. Construct or Flood Protection Methods install appropriate flood protection measures.

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