Flood watch: Prepare for floods with sandbags

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch through Thursday evening for much of the Tampa Bay area.  Some localized areas could receive four to six inches of rain and isolated tornadoes by Thursday night.  The American Red Cross is urging all residents on Florida's west coast to prepare now.
 
A flood watch means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A flood warning means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.    
 
Emergency operation centers across the Tampa Bay area are gearing up.  Flooding is a main concern, and residents should be prepared to react.

Citrus County:

The City of Crystal River will be opening a sandbag location at the Crystal River Fire Station at 350 NW 3rd Ave., as a precautionary measure for residents.  Sandbags will be available starting at 10:30 AM and for the next 24 hours.

High tides along the Citrus County coast begin on the northern end of the county about 12:42 PM and run to the south until 5:42 PM.  Tampa weather officials have advised that Citrus County should expect a two-foot storm surge.

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To protect against water damage, follow these simple sandbagging techniques.

At the area where water can enter a structure: 

1. If not working on concrete, a small ditch should be dug just deep enough to go below ground level. The ditch should be back far enough from the entrance to allow room to place optional submersible (sump) pumps into the protected area. The edge of the visqueen should be placed in the ditch as a bottom layer.

2. Place the first row of sandbags in the ditch. Fold visqueen over the top of the first row, place a second row of bags on top. Fold visqueen back over, place a third row of bags on top and so on. This will create a continuing S pattern with the visqueen. 

3. Depending on the size of the barrier, one or more submersible pumps can be utilized. The barrier will not completely shop water from entering the protected area, but with proper placement of bags, visqueen and sump pumps the water, in most cases, can be removed quickly. 

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