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Posted on: August 3, 2020

Five Things to Know as Tropical Storm Isaias Approaches

Image of flooded roadway

Loudoun County encourages residents and businesses to take steps now to prepare for the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds to the area as the storm moves northward. 

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Loudoun County and the region, in effect from 11:00 p.m., Monday, August 3, 2020, to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 4, 2020.  Rainfall totals of three to six inches are expected and could cause small creeks and streams to become dangerous rivers and lead to downed trees and power outages. In mountain areas, destructive runoff may occur. 

“Residents of Loudoun County should take steps today to prepare for the coming storm,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Johnson. “We can expect to begin seeing the impact of the storm overnight; I urge everyone to take this weather event seriously by being prepared.”

Here are five things to know as heavy rain approaches Loudoun:

1. Know the Forecast

  • Get the most current forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS), which has issued a hazardous weather outlook for Loudoun. Follow NWS on Facebook and Twitter.
  • A flash flood watch means that a flood is possible in the area. A flood warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon. 

2. Prepare Your Property: Reduce the Risk of Damage to Structures

  • If possible to do so safely, clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts before the rain begins. 
  • Trim trees and shrubbery. 
  • Remove or secure anything that can become a projectile from damaging winds such as a swing set, grill, lawn or patio furniture, wind chimes and hanging baskets.
  • If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working and that the outlet pipe is not blocked. If possible, install a battery-operated backup in case of a power failure. 
  • Anchor any fuel tanks.  

3. Prepare for Power Outages and Potential Hazards

  • Take note of your utility providers’ contact information and how to report outages so that you may correctly follow the providers’ directions if necessary. 
  • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered radios.
  • Keep your cell phones charged.
  • Stock up on batteries, food that will keep, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications.
  • Check on your neighbors who are older adults to ensure they are prepared ahead of the storm and safe during and after the storm.
  • Make emergency plans for pets.
  • Tips on what supplies to put in your emergency kit are online at loudoun.gov/makeakit.

4. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!

  • Take 50 seconds to watch this NWS video—it could save your life. 
  • If you come to a flooded roadway, stop and do not cross. It is impossible to determine the depth of the water or the condition of the road under the water. It takes just 12 inches of flowing water to carry off a small car and just six inches of water to knock a person down and carry them away.

5. Stay Informed

  • Sign up for Alert Loudoun at loudoun.gov/alert to receive weather, news and traffic alerts by email and text. 
  • Follow Loudoun County Government on Facebook and Twitter

Learn more about flooding preparedness at loudoun.gov/flood

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