ILLINOIS (WEHT) – Several storms will impact Illinois this week, bringing a potential for flash flooding across the state.

“Across the state, we are looking at severe thunderstorms and excessive rains that could include hail, damaging winds, and rampant flash flooding,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency (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 when severe thunderstorms and flash flooding occurs.”

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), while severe thunderstorms are forecasted for August 3 and August 4, parts of Illinois could see widespread flash flooding including parts of central Illinois and southern Illinois. IEMA says terms to listen for include:

  • Flood Watch: Flooding or flash flooding is possible. Be cautious when driving, especially at night. Listen to weather radio, commercial radio or commercial television for more information.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon and is expected to occur for several days or weeks. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring or is imminent. Many smartphones automatically receive flash flood warnings to alert you about flash flooding nearby, even if you are traveling. Flash flooding happens very quickly, so take action immediately. Never drive across a flooded road, especially if the road is closed by barricades.
  • Flash Flood Emergency: Severe flash flooding resulting in a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage is happening or will happen soon.

Tips from IEMA include:

  • Purchase a weather alert radio with a battery backup, a tone-alert feature, and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology that automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued for your county. Know the name of the county you live in and the counties you travel through.
  • It is critical that someone at home, work, or wherever people gather monitors weather conditions, regardless of the time of day. Monitor watches, warnings, and advisories in your area using a weather alert radio, cell phone app, local TV, local radio, or the Internet. If it is safe to do so, contact family members and friends when you become aware of a flooding situation that may threaten them.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended outdoor periods and postpone plans if flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Make sure family members and friends know how to stay safe. Make a family emergency communications plan and include pets.
  • Maintain an emergency supply kit. This kit will help your family cope during extended power outages.