Prepare for severe weather now

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2015

As you are reading this, it is probably raining.
On Wednesday, the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for west Hobolochitto Creek near McNeill through Thursday evening. However, rain is forecast for most of next week, too, so this may not be the last such warning.
In fact, meteorologists are predicting a series of bad storms across the region over the holiday weekend, including possible tornadoes in parts of the South.
This would not be the first time we’ve had Christmas tornadoes. In 2012, severe Christmas weather brought a series of the destructive storms to our region and homes from Texas to Alabama were destroyed.
As always, we urge our readers to take care on the roads and at home. This means driving sober, but it also means allowing for more travel time.
Beyond travel plans, please make sure you and your family have a plan in place in case of a bad storm or if you live in a flood-prone area. If you live near senior citizens, please take time to check on them, too.
On that note, we were happy to report Wednesday that the county is beginning to offer buy-out packages for owners of some homes in flood-prone areas. We have already heard complaints that the offers were too small, and we expect to hear them again. However, before the owners reject the offers outright, we suggest some careful thought.
First, homes prone to repeated flooding are likely to contain dangerous mold and be health risks to their inhabitants. In addition, the homes may prove difficult to sell considering the difficulty of getting flood insurance—necessary for anyone who hopes to get a mortgage.
Weather-related tragedies may strike anywhere at any time, but as with most things, prevention and planning can lessen the aftermath.

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