PHILADELPHIA –The remnants of Hurricane Ida continue to bring damaging winds and life-threatening flash, urban and river flooding to communities in its path. This tropical storm system has the potential to be one of the more impactful to hit Region 3 in at least the last 5 years.
Ida is expected to bring 3 to 8 inches of rainfall across Region 3. Isolated cases of higher amounts are possible. Life-threatening flash flooding will be possible throughout all of WV, most of PA, most of MD, northern/western VA, DC, and northern DE, especially in steep terrain, in urban areas, and along small/creeks and streams. Moderate-to-major longer-term flooding along the bigger rivers is likely mid- to late week, particularly in the Monongahela, Potomac, Susquehanna and Delaware River basins. There is a chance for a strong tornado or two as Ida makes her way through the region, especially in southeastern/south-central PA, the DC/Baltimore metro areas, and on the Delmarva Peninsula.
History has shown that our region is susceptible to flooding rain and wind damage associated with the remnants of tropical systems. Ida will be no different and FEMA Region 3 FEMA, along with our federal, state, tribal and local partners, as well as non-government agencies and private sector entities, remain fully postured to respond to and support impacted communities.
“It is essential that we work together to help everyone respond to and recover from flooding,” said FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Ensure you have you have emergency supplies on hand and are ready to evacuate if instructed to do so. If it is safe, check on neighbors who may require assistance. This includes individuals with infants and children as well as older adults, people with disabilities and others who may need help.”
Region 3 is supporting our states through the deployment of liaisons and teams to multiple locations in coordination with state emergency management directors. We are also pre-positioning supplies and commodities.
Incident Management Assistance Teams, (IMATs) are teams made up of logistics, operations, and planning experts who interact directly with state and District emergency management personnel. Throughout the event, FEMA Region 3 is in daily contact with regional and national private sector partners, publishing daily news releases, and using social media to leverage the delivery of preparedness and safety information in support of local, state, and District officials.
FEMA Region 3 will continue to assess needs as the remnants of Ida move through our area and is working with our partners to plan for post-storm assessments.
Keep Yourself Safe During Flooding
- Stay off the roads: Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
- Check on neighbors who may require assistance if it is safe to do so. This includes individuals with infants, children as well as older adults, people with disabilities and others who may need help.
- Don’t drive through flood waters: Turn around, don’t drive. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle and as little as one foot of moving water can sweep away your vehicle.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Stay out of floodwater. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines or contain hazards such as human and animal waste, dangerous debris, contaminates that can lead to illness, or wild or stray animals.
- Use a generator correctly and safely. Keep generators dry and position them outdoors and well away from any structure. Using a generator incorrectly can lead to dangerous situations, including carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get fresh air right away.
- For more tips on staying safe during flooding, visit Ready.gov/Floods
Stay Safe, Post-Storm
- If you need to evacuate post-storm, be extremely careful driving as roads may be damaged or blocked. If you go to a community or group shelter, remember to follow the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19. FEMA is prepared and activated to respond to disasters in states in a COVID-19 environment and is well postured to handle this upcoming storm, despite the Delta variant surge.
- If you are in the path of Ida as it moves inland, gather supplies. Have enough supplies for your household. Include medication, disinfectant supplies, face masks, pet supplies and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries.
- If your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
- Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris.
- Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay far away and report them immediately to your power company.
- Check on friends and family: If you are able, please check on your neighbors, friends, and family because some may need more help than others.
Additional post-storm safety tips can be found on Ready.gov and Listo.gov, as well as by downloading the FEMA App. For more information on federal Hurricane Ida preparedness and response visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.