CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The storms coming on Saturday could pose safety hazards if you aren’t prepared. April Showers have arrived alongside the start of the month in the morning with severe weather following in the evening.
Without proper preparation, even smaller rainstorms can cause flooding or damage to your home, but with the rain holding off until this evening, there’s still time to prepare.
“Fall is fine spring is fine if it rains, it rains. I grew up in New England, It happens,” expressed Michelle Weiss, who likes to open a good book on this rainy day.
For some a rainy afternoon is a perfect chance to catch up on hobbies, “Reading, reading and more reading,” continued Weiss, “Housework? No.”
The Spring rain doesn’t just bring a chance to catch up on a riveting novel, it also poses a safety hazard. Two places to look out for are your house, or when you get behind the wheel.
Around your home, first, clean out your gutters this morning. It should be done twice a year and the spring is a great time for it. After that, check your downspouts and make sure they are dumping water away from your home’s foundation.
If you have a safe vantage point or can safely access your roof, check it for missing shingles or loose nails. Moss on your roof can also accelerate rot by trapping moisture beneath shingles. There is also risk for heavy winds on these storms, so if you busted out the patio furniture for Spring, take it back inside to avoid damage.
Be aware of how to shut off your electricity and check your insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage. Flood damage is not typically covered in your homeowner’s plan.
Finally, while there is not a significant risk of flooding on Saturday, these spring showers are going to stick around, so be prepared for flooding. Have a disaster kit ready with flashlights, water, food, and other necessities.
Secondly be ready on the roads. According to the Federal Highway Administration, arterial roads reduce speed by between 10 and 25 percent on just wet pavement alone, while active rain decreases speed by another 3 to 17 percent.
To stay safe, match the speed of the cars around you. It’s also a good idea to stay off cruise control, which can increase the risk of hydroplaning. Try to avoid hard braking and sharp turns, and leave more stopping distance than usual.
While underway, try to break, turn or accelerate one at a time. Check your tires for tread and if you can get out before the first drops fall this morning check your wipers, if you’ve been meaning to replace them, now is the time.
Around 75 percent of weather-related car crashes happen on wet pavement. Nearly 5,700 people are killed and more than 544,000 are injured in crashes on the wet pavement every year, so the risk does not end as soon as the rain does.
It’s the start of the rainy season here in New England, we’ve seen between 10 and 15 inches of rain over the last 90 days here in western Massachusetts, that’s a few inches above normal already. So, once your safety precautions are in check, enjoy the weather.
“It reminds me of Hawaii. A nice warm rain, it’s a a Hilo rain, on the tropical side of the Island. And so, they always call it Mana; blessing,” expressed Paulette Harwood, who enjoys the rain.