Citizens cautioned to be prepared for severe storm
Independence residents are encouraged to take precautions for severe weather throughout today and early Tuesday. Large hail, strong wind and significant rainfall are possible over for the next several hours.
In a briefing this morning with the National Weather Service (NWS), Independence emergency personnel were updated on the severe weather pattern currently impacting Oklahoma and moving northeast. According to the NWS, Montgomery County and other state-line counties are expected to be at moderate to higher risk of hail, some potential high winds and rainfall between 2.5 and 5 inches.
David Cowan, Independence Director of Safety and Code Enforcement, noted that significant rainfall on the already saturated ground in this area will likely cause significant surface runoff and temporary flash flooding in low-lying areas. Residents in flood-prone areas, such as the Whiskey Creek neighborhoods and South 17th Street, are encouraged to take precautions by moving vehicles to higher ground, making arrangements for outdoor pets and having personal belongings, medications, etc., at hand in the event a temporary evacuation is necessary. In that event, the Independence Civic Center, 410 N. Penn, will be opened as an emergency shelter.
The Civic Center also serves as a tornado/storm shelter for residents. Other designated storm shelters include the Montgomery County Judicial Center, 300 E. Main; Temporary City Hall, 811 W. Laurel; and the Independence High School gymnasium, 1301 N. 10th (after school hours).
Residents also should avoid driving into high water and pay particular attention to North Penn Ave, North Park Blvd. and other areas with a history of flash flooding during heavy rainfall, Cowan said.
Citizens can stay informed of severe weather situations by registering for the city’s free emergency alert system. A registration link can be found on the city’s website at www.independenceks.gov.