WARREN, NJ - The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for most of New Jersey, including Warren. The Watch is expected to be in effect from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Localized thunderstoms could drop signifcant precipitation in short periods of time. Flash flooding is likely around streams, small rivers and in urban areas if rainfall during any six hour period is one to two inches or more per hour.
In addition to the Flash Flood Watch, the service warns that the morning commute could be affected by heavy rain. Be prepared and anticipate flooding where it typically occurs. Showers are forecasted to become heavy at times from late Tuesday night into early Wednesday afternoon.
There is a moderate risk of rip currents at the Jersey shore and a small craft advisory has been issued.
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 swept away quickly.
If you need to drive :
· Slow down and increase following distances. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. When it rains, visibility is reduced and braking distances increase. On dry pavement, a safe following distance permits two to three seconds for stopping; that should be increased to eight seconds on slippery roads. Train your eyes farther down the road than normal, so you can anticipate changes and adjust your course gradually.
· Fumes and oil leaks that build up on dry pavement rise to the surface of the road when it rains, making the road far slicker than it may seem.
· Do not attempt to drive through standing water on the roads that look too deep. Try to avoid bridges and roads that are known to flood. Cross them only if there is little standing or streaming water. When driving on pothole-filled roads, hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control. Just a few inches of water can turn your vehicle into a boat, and could put your life, and the lives of those around you, at great risk. Turn around; find another way to get to your destination.
· Watch out for hydroplaning. No car is immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces, including four-wheel drive vehicles. Just because brakes work under normal conditions doesn't mean they will react the same on slippery roads where tires roll with far less traction.
· Alert drivers behind you that you're slowing with your brake lights. Without anti-lock brakes, squeeze the brakes until they are about to lock up and then release. With anti-lock brakes, use the same move – but don't pump the brakes, which would work against the operation of the ABS system. Slow down as you approach a pothole. However, do not brake when your vehicle is directly over a pothole.
· Use the central lanes. When driving during heavy rain, use center lanes of the road. Avoid outside lanes where the water collects at curbside.
·Use low-beam headlights to help other drivers see your car and increase visibility. Remember New Jersey law requires lights to be on whenever the windshield wipers are on.
· Use your defroster with your air conditioning to keep the air dry and prevent windows from fogging.
· Do not drive around barricades. Many lives have been lost when drivers disregard official orders and find themselves trapped in rising waters.
· Turn off the cruise control in wet weather driving. The use of cruise control on wet roads can cause hydroplaning.
· If conditions worsen to the point where there is any doubt about your safety, take the nearest exit. Don't just stop on the shoulder or under a bridge where you may feel less anxiety. If your visibility is compromised, other drivers may be struggling too.
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