WARREN, NJ - The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for most of New Jersey for Tuesday, July 15. Thunderstorms are possible across New Jersey along with the threat of flash flooding. The heavy rain may fall in a brief period which could cause streams and creeks to rise quickly.
Damaging winds and severe thunderstorms and scattered power outages have been reported across the area as severe thunderstorms are moving their way through. Downed wires have been reported in Long Hill.
If your power goes out, be sure to contact your power company to report such and not assume they know.
A flash flood watch has been issued for the northern and western parts of the state. There's a moderate risk of rip currents at the Jersey shore.
Much of the Garden. State Parkway is flooded with some areas with storm debris and abandoned vehicles.
Routes 202/206 and 287 are reporting delays of up to an hour.
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.
If you must prepare to evacuate:
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. Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
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.
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