Severe Weather in Austin TX

Texas leads the rest of the country when it comes to flooding and other severe weather related events. Austin,TX lies directly in the path of what is commonly referred to as Flash Flood Alley, an area prone for rapidly developing flood conditions that offer little or no advanced warning to those who may be in their path. Flash floods have the ability to form within a matter of minutes and sweep across the landscape causing enormous damage to life and property. At the time of writing this article authorities in central Texas have blocked off roadways and there are thousands without power as rains pour down and flash flood warnings are being issued. Already 2.85 inches of rain have been recorded at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Many of creeks and streams are already flooded and driving at night is strongly unadvised, as the low-water crossings have become dangerous. Forecasters says its going to be a busy 24 hours, with all elements of severe weather possible including hail, strong winds, flash flooding, and even an isolated tornado or two.

Image of collapsed ceiling

Collapsed ceiling following a storm

For residents in the Austin TX area, water damage is a serious matter. Homes and businesses may be severely damaged or destroyed as a result of water problems, and it becomes important to know how to handle it when it does occur. Around 150 people die each year in the US because of floods. A vast majority of those deaths are from electrocution or other accidents that take place after the flood waters have subsided. The water damage restoration process should always begin as soon as possible following a water damage event. Doing so prevents further damage from occurring, as well as eliminating the threat of more serious long term problems such as mold and mildew.

In the event of flash floods, higher ground is always the preferred option. In most cases you will have very little warning so a prompt evacuation is a must. Never try to drive through or walk through rapidly moving flood waters as you may find yourself swept away by the current. If you must wade through standing water use a wooden stick for turning items over, scaring away animals and snakes, and moving electrical wires.

The power of water is considerable to say the least. Flood waters can literally shift a home or business on its foundation, rendering it structurally unsafe. Always check to make sure the structure is sound before attempting to re-enter it. Check the foundation of your home for cracks or other damage. You can also check porch roofs and overhangs to ensure they still have all their supports. Check if there is a gap between your porch steps and your home. The font door sticking can also be an indication of potential danger. If it sticks at the bottom it could just be swollen from the water and it can be forced open, but if it sticks at the top it could be an indication that the ceiling may be ready to fall. Open the door and wait outside for a few minutes, when you enter the home pay attention to the ceiling and look for any obvious structural damage. If you spot major structural damage, call a building inspector out to check the home before you enter it.

The electricity and gas should be shut off at the source for safety reasons. Water and electricity do not mix and even a slight spark could be enough to ignite any leaking gas. Turn off the power at your breaker box even if the electricity has been switched off for the entire community, that way you can determine whether it’s safe for your home to receive electricity again independently of the community. You wouldn’t want the electricity company turning on the power without warning while you’re working on it.

You should also be aware of any dangers within a flooded out house, especially animals such as snakes that are often swept by floodwaters into abandoned houses. Be sure to wear protective clothing, gloves, boots, and eyewear when working in or around flood waters. Pregnant women, young children and people with health problems should stay away from the flooded area altogether until cleanup is complete.

Photo of a flooded town following a stormIt may sound like a small thing, but open the windows and doors in the structure and get air moving through the area. Air circulation is the benchmark of the drying process, and the sooner you allow this process to begin, the sooner things will be dry.

If there are any damaged items such as furniture or personal effects, remove them. They can be taken elsewhere for drying, cleaning, and repair, and will not impede other water damage restoration efforts. Keep in mind your residence and personal items may appear to be beyond hope, but the truth is quit a few of your belongings can be restored with the exception of porous materials such as wallboard and mattresses. These items will hold mud and contaminants forever regardless of how many times they are cleaned. When in doubt, throw it out – it’s more cost effective and safer.

Of course you should also call your local water damage restoration professionals, as they have the skills, training, and experience necessary to be able to remove the water from your property and return the home to its pre loss condition. They are available 24/7 and all work is guaranteed.

With severe weather season upon us, the time is now to get ready and be prepared in case disaster does strike.  Grab the number for your local water damage restoration professionals today. For you local Austin Restoration Company check these guys out: link

About Dan Camara

Dan Camara is the CEO of PuroClean Home Rescue in Sacramento. We have been helping the good folks of Northern California with water damage dryouts, mold removal and fire cleanups for nearly 5 years now. Connect with me on Google+
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