The City of Annapolis is susceptible to floods/flash floods anytime during the year but especially from March to September. Flooding is primarily due to the City's location as a coastal community. The lowest lying land is in the downtown Annapolis/City Dock area and Eastport, located at the mouth of the Severn River, Annapolis Harbor, and Spa Creek.
Flood Warning Descriptions
The following are descriptions of Flood warnings applicable to this area, which could be disseminated to the populace via alert and notification mechanisms:
- Flood Watch: A flood is possible in your area.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible in your area.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.
The flooding most often experienced in the City of Annapolis is termed "urban flooding" which is similar to flash flooding. Urban flooding can occur when:
- Sanitary sewers are infiltrated by floodwaters, causing sanitary sewers to surge.
- Undersized roads culverts and railroad culverts, as well as, storm water systems can't contain flood flows.
- The capacity of flood control systems (such as drainage ponds) is exceeded.
- Wind induced coastal flooding that causes storm water drainage systems to be overwhelmed.
- The Bay floods over banks and backward through storm drains.
Protecting yourself today means having sources of information, preparing your home or workplace, developing an emergency communications plan, and knowing what to do when a flood is approaching your home or business. Taking action today can save lives and property.
- Know your flood risk.
- Make a family disaster plan that includes out-of-town contacts and locations to reunite if you become separated. Be sure everyone knows home, work and cell numbers, and how to call 9-1-1.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Be sure to include a flashlight, batteries and/or battery pack, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Consider buying flood insurance. Flood losses are not covered under homeowners’ insurance policies.
- Familiarize yourself with your local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building or to evacuate.
- Be alert. Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, radio for weather updates, emergency information and/or evacuation orders.
Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. Flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes with or without any visible signs of rain. Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in low-lying area, near water, or downstream from a dam.If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is a possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of streams drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.