We have had too much rain during past summer holidays, Memorial Day and 4th of July bring up those memories. But during these holidays we think of water in that other way, as our relief and lots of people seek access to get into it. Oklahoma's Department of Environmental Quality posted their Tips to Keep You Safe at Lakes, Rivers, and Streams this week. DEQ reminds you to follow some simple tips to help keep you and your family safe while swimming, boating, canoeing, or enjoying other water activities since natural bodies of water, especially warm and stagnant water, can contain organisms that may cause illness. When swimming pay attention to water conditions: if it looks bad, smells, has dead fish stay out. AND don't get water in your nose, mouth or ears! Wash up with soap and water after swimming.
Both DEQ and the CDC state we should all Avoid swimming if you are ill. To stop the spread of COVID-19 if you feel ill limit close contact with people.
Many of us are not quivering in fear about our next flood, but we want to better understand when and how it may come for us. We know it may because of the number who are now required to buy flood insurance for the first time ever. There are a number of "flood" maps and the latest one came out recently. We would like you to try it, the makers would like your feedback on how it works and if it is correct. How often do we get to "test drive" a tool like that? Check out https://floodfactor.com/ and type in your address to find out the risk right now you have for flooding with their modeling. (The makers: First Street Foundation notes their flood and climate change risk estimates not intended as precise estimates, or to be a comprehensive analysis of, all possible flood-related and climate change risks.)
ProPublica discussed this tool stating there are millions of homeowners in the US who need flood insurance and don't know it. Homeowners outside of FEMA’s high-risk zones often believe they’re safe, underestimating their vulnerability. The researchers show how risk changes over time. Explore this interactive flood map and look at historic floods and how flood risk will change in the future. Look at any of the 143 million US properties analyzed.
LEAD Agency is hoping to understand from this map and the other available maps how quickly flood waters rise and where the escape routes are. Residents who are new to the alert know it because they are now having to pay flood insurance. But what else do they need to know?
Those who have experienced local flooding can help us compile the best list of "to do's" to share with those uninitiated by water who will be new to being flooded.
For a couple of months LEAD Agency was taking the temperature of the folks in and around Miami, not with thermometers like are used now. Hundreds of people simply signed they had flooded and were TIRED of it. Citizens were committing to do their part in making that different by voting. We dropped the ball. We didn't remind you that if you flood now or are affected by the local flooding it can get worse and the blame in the future floods can be given to a single person. We have never been able to give blame for a flood on a person, we have always blamed the "elements" - "climate change" - "God's plan" and of course GRDA, the gatekeeper at the Pensacola Dam. A single person, if ultimately successful in the near future may be responsible for widening future area flooding.
As individuals we can feel powerless to the natural elements or the forces of evil that swirl around us. But we have powers, almost super powers and can undo and unseat any person who is abusing power, certainly we have the ability to band together and use that power to protect our families, our community and our very own homes.
Ottawa County did not do that this week. The Senator who has put a specific amendment in the powerfully funded National Defense Authorization Act could raise the level of Grand Lake by 2 feet. If you think we have a flooding problem now, think what that would do. 1,236 people in Ottawa County must want you to flood because they voted for the single person who had the personal power to do this to us. Voting is your super power. November can bring us hope we won't have to float our boat on. You vote and I flood,