When Flooding Occurs: Staying Safe

When flooding occurs, areas around and within your home can be very dangerous. Please consider the following safety tips:

  • Turn off all electrical circuits at the main breaker/fuse panel. If this is not possible, disconnect all electrical appliances. Do not touch any electrical devices if you are wet or standing in water. Consideration should also be given to shutting off water and gas services.
  • Beware of gas leaks. Turn off the gas to your house before it floods.  If you smell gas, report it to the gas company, and do not use candles, lanterns or open flames.
  • Do not walk through flowing water. Currents can be deceptive. Just six inches of water can flow fast enough to knock the average person off their feet.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect all articles that got wet with floodwater. Floodwaters sometimes contain sewage, pesticides and other chemicals. When in doubt, throw them out.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. The road or bridge may be washed out and the water may be deeper than it appears. During a flood, more people drown in their cars than anywhere else.
  • Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains. Flood waters can carry dangerous items and may pull smaller people into culverts or drains.
  • Be aware of and avoid downed power lines. Electric current will travel through water.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes.
  • Do not use gas engines such as generators, or charcoal fires indoors during power outages. Carbon monoxide exhaust can pose serious a health hazard.

Visit www.stcharles.gov/flood for information and links to flood-related sites. Or contact the Public Works Engineering Division at 630.377.4486.

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updated Mar 30, 2023