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Flood watch issued for western, northern NH

Elm Brook Park in Contoocook, which is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, closed this week due to flooding.
Rebecca Lavoie
Elm Brook Park in Contoocook, which is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, closed this week due to flooding.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for parts of New Hampshire ahead of another rain storm moving into northern New England.

Strong thunderstorms are possible into Thursday evening, and heavy rainfall and flooding are possible for some areas.

The flood watch is for Cheshire, Coos, Grafton and Sullivan counties.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is urging residents and visitors to be prepared for possible flooding.

In a public safety update, the state agency noted that a flood watch means flooding is possible, and that people in that area should be prepared, while a flood warning means that flooding is imminent, or already occurring, and that people in that identified area should “take action and seek higher ground immediately.”

Robert Buxton, director of New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management, shared these safety tips:

  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground immediately.
  • If driving in a vehicle, remember the saying, “turn around, don’t drown.”
  • Never attempt to drive down a closed road or move traffic barriers.
  • 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.

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Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

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