Firefighters urge public to avoid flood zones - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Firefighters urge public to avoid flood zones

BENTON, IL (KFVS) - Several counties across the Heartland have begun to experience flooding as of Thursday night, but that is expected to get worse for those counties and beyond over the weekend.

Firefighters with the Benton, Illinois Fire Department trained in Water Search and Recovery are urging the public to stray away from any moving water.

Veteran firefighter Steve Buntin with more 24-year experience in water rescue said if you are driving and see even a little bit of water on the road, you should turn around and find another route.

Buntin said if you get into a crash during a day where there is lots of flooding, it could take hours for emergency crews to arrive.

"You know the response time, you can have multiple accidents at the same time," Buntin said. You know we're a 15 man department. And we've got four vehicles that we can run around in. We're already limited at best."

In the event of a flood here's a few tips form the the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
  • Seek higher ground. Do not wait for instructions.
  • Be aware of flash flood areas such as canals, streams, drainage channels, and underpasses. Be ready to evacuate with your Go Bag.
  • If time allows, move essential items to upper floors.
  • If instructed, turn off main valves and switches.
  • Avoid electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • If you must leave your home, do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
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