Texas and Oklahoma have been the unfortunate victims of a continuous streak of deadly thunderstorms and tornados this past week.  In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of emergency for 24 counties after historic weather damaged property totaling tens of millions of dollars and resulted in at least three deaths.  To make matters worse there is still more destructive weather heading for the state during the next couple days.  A dozen or more people are missing and reports are still coming in about the devastation.  Meanwhile, funds have been set up for each county in order to restore critical infrastructure needs as soon as possible. 

 

This massive flooding which has hit Texas is greater than any the state has ever seen before and has caught numerous people off guard.  The past three weeks of heavy rains preceding the recent flurry of storms left the ground heavily saturated, making it difficult to absorb more water.  Many people have been running sump pumps to keep their basements dry, but with sewer systems and storm drains overflowing it has been difficult.  People whose homes haven’t been destroyed, but have water in their basement should continue to run their sump pumps in order to prevent water from sitting too long.

Sump Pump


This wild weather, while more extreme than Texas has seen in recent years, is no longer new to the country.  The number of tornadoes to rampage across the U.S. this year has been greater than it has in recent years.  Other states have also been experiencing more severe weather in recent years.  The northern part of the U.S. along with the center of the country has seen colder and more intense storms in the winter.  This is in part due to the Polar Vortex which normally doesn’t reach lower latitudes coming down past Canada and bringing abnormally cold winds over the country. 

As the weather for the foreseeable future continues to be dangerous and disruptive it is important for us to take precautions.  If you live somewhere prone to tornadoes make sure you have a safe place to protect you from the storm and keep your important documents there.  Many places around the country can and have experienced flooding.  If you live in such an area it is a good idea to invest in improving your foundation and installing a sump pump.  This can prevent flooding into the basement and if you do experience flooding a sump pump will help remove the water quickly to prevent it from sitting and causing further issues.  Remember to check the weather forecast each day so you’re prepared and not caught off guard.

 

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