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County urges residents to prep for flood season

With fall and winter rains approaching, Snohomish County residents should make flood preparations for their homes and families a priority.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon has declared Oct. 21‐27 "Flood Preparedness Week" as a reminder to residents to take time now to plan for the protection and safety of their families and property. The county has a long history of flooding and the effects of heavy rains on rivers, roads, bridges and neighborhoods are well known.

"The preparations we make as a local government are geared toward protecting public safety and ensuring recovery," Reardon said. "It is also important for residents to do their part to be prepared for flood season."

The National Weather Service forecasts a weak, almost neutral El Nino climate pattern this year, which in the past has produced some of the county's biggest weather events, including as recently as 2006 and 2009.

Residents should prepare for flooding by:

• Stocking up on basic supplies, food and water in case of power outages.

• Having an emergency plan for your family, including evacuation routes if needed.

• Checking the area around your home for plugged drains or culverts that can back up and cause flooding.

• Considering purchasing flood insurance.

To stay on top of flood conditions in your area, check the county's Flood Warning System, an online service that shows river levels at key locations, updated every 15 minutes. The Flood Warning System can be accessed from the county's home page at www.snoco.org by searching "Flood Warning System."

This service, along with other information to help residents prepare for and maintain safety during flooding, is featured in Snohomish County's annual Flood Guide. The Guide is mailed to all households within the designated floodplains, and is available online at www.snoco.org by searching "2012 Flood Guide." Hard copies can be obtained at the Snohomish County Departments of Emergency Management at 425‐388‐5060, Public Works Surface Water Management at 425‐388‐3464, and Planning and Development Services at 425‐388-3311, as well as at fire stations and public libraries within county jurisdiction.

There are many websites that also offer flood advice including:

www.floodsmart.gov.

www.snoco.org by searching "flood emergency information."

www.weather.gov.

www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/prep_infocus_winter.shtml#Floods.

takewinterbystorm.org.

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