SPRINGFIELD – A series of significant winter storms are expected to move into the state later this week, bringing a potential for flash flooding and accumulating snow. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) encouraged people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared for the changing weather patterns.
“Given the current ground saturation, any time we see a forecast of four inches of rain, and the duration of this weather event, we see a threat for flash flooding,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “This is a good reminder that anywhere it rains, it can flood. We want everyone to be aware of current conditions and be prepared to follow local instructions if watches or warnings are issued.”
According to the National Weather Service, while heavy rain is forecasted for Thursday and Friday, parts of Illinois could see accumulating snow and the possibility of freezing rain as we move into the weekend. This forecast is a good reminder that people should always have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a NOAA weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor warning sirens and more.
WEAs are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under ‘Government Alerts’ to ensure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your current location, even if you are traveling. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including a free app provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
To help Illinois residents prepare for winter, IEMA and the NWS developed a winter weather preparedness guide that covers winter weather terms and tips for staying safe at home, in the car and at school. The guide is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.