By Tamas Mondovics
In preparation for the forecasted heavy rainfall, fueled by the remnants of Tropical Storm Erika, this afternoon, Hillsborough County officials have reopened the Emergency Operations Center today (Monday, August 31).
County Emergency personnel are urging residents to prepare for the potential of 2 to 3 inches of rain and possible flooding through the middle of the week.
According to the National Weather Service, localized areas may possibly receive higher amounts of rainfall.
County officials said that residents should drive carefully through areas of standing water, and stay tuned to local television and radio stations for traffic advisories, reports of flooding, and other critical information.
Residents can go to www.HillsboroughCounty.org/AtYourService or call (813) 272-5900 to report flooding and road problems, or to request additional information.
Sandbag materials are available at the following Hillsborough County Public Works locations until 4 p.m. today:
West Service Unit at 9805 Sheldon Rd.
South Service Unit at 8718 Old Big Bend Rd.
East Service Unit at 4702 Sydney Rd.
Sandbag materials will be available for Hillsborough County residents to make their own sandbags. Each resident must sign their name and provide their home address acknowledging the receipt of 25 sandbags or less.
Roads and Drainage Systems
Public Works crews have been working continuously on pumping operations and repairs to drainage systems during the past month in an effort to improve storm water control. Residents are advised to not conduct their own pumping operations, as this may affect operations in other areas of the County.
Residents experiencing flooding who may want to explore the option of pumping water should call (813) 272-5900 and ask to speak with a representative from Public Works.
A list of roads and areas which have been flooded at some time during the past month can be found at: Hillsboroughcounty.org/StaySafe.
Safety Tips During Heavy Rain or Flooding
Motorists are urged to use care when driving through flooded areas, and to follow posted detour signs.
Residents should stay tuned to local television and radio stations for traffic advisories, reports of flooding, or other critical information.
Follow these safety tips to help keep you and your family safe:
*Never drive through moving water or standing water. Standing water that is only two feet deep can disable most vehicles.
*If you can’t see the road, turn around. Floodwaters may conceal holes or dangerous objects.
*Avoid walking in flooded areas or rapidly flowing water. Only six inches of fast-flowing water can sweep you off your feet.
*If an area is barricaded, there is a reason. Find an alternate route.
*Treat non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop.
*Avoid downed or hanging power lines. Always assume the power line is live.
*Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to see possible flood dangers.