Sunday, July 9, 2023
CONCORD, N.H. – The National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, issued a Flood Watch for most of New
Hampshire from Sunday afternoon through Monday. Parts of Hillsborough, Merrimack, Cheshire,
Grafton, Coos and Sullivan counties could see heavy downpours that could lead to Flash Flooding.
A Flood Watch means flooding is possible and everyone in the watch area should be prepared. A Flood
Warning means flooding is imminent or already occurring and everyone in the warning area should
take action and seek higher ground immediately.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency
Management (HSEM) urges residents and visitors to be prepared before flooding occurs.
“Residents and visitors need to pay attention to local weather forecasts,” said HSEM Director Robert
Buxton. “If flooding occurs, know what to do to keep you and your family safe. If you are visiting an
unfamiliar area, make sure you know where there is high ground. Most flood deaths happen in vehicles.
Never drive through flooded roadways.”
Campers staying at sites along rivers and streams, and campgrounds in low-lying parts across the watch
area are strongly encouraged to know what to do if evacuation is needed. In the event a Flood Warning
is issued, campers should have a way to be aware of changing conditions and be prepared to evacuate
to higher ground immediately.
“More flooding is expected with this most recent round of rain. It’s important that residents and visitors
remain safe,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “We all need to do our part to stay vigilant. If you are able
to, avoid areas that are prone to flooding. If a Flash Flood Warning happens where you are, get to
higher ground immediately.”
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the U.S. and impact New Hampshire annually. In 2022,
102 people in the United States died during floods, according to the National Weather Service.
Buxton offers the following safety tips:
• If flooding occurs get to higher ground immediately.
• Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service.
• Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of water can sweep your vehicle
away. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• If you must evacuate, secure your home, including disconnecting electrical appliances.
• If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to
higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water. Just 6 inches of water can reach
the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
• Avoid floodwaters as they may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may
also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
• If driving in a vehicle, remember the saying, “turn around, don’t drown.”
Learn more about flood safety at ReadyNH.gov.