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5 Worst Winter Storms in US History

5 Worst Winter Storms in US History

The freezing temperatures, ice, and heavy snow of winter can cause serious damage. Winter storms bring power and water loss, make transportation near impossible, and cause fatalities. Recovery from these storms is often long and costly.

Some of the Costliest Winter Storms in the Country

Every winter brings ice and snow that makes transportation difficult and causes serious hazards in some parts of the country. Loss of power and damage to property is common. The following 5 storms were the costliest winter storms in US history.

1) Great Blizzard of 1993

On March 11th through March 14th of 1993, 26 US states experienced the “Storm of the Century.” This blizzard affected 40% of the US population with 270 fatalities and millions who lost power. Eventually, all major airports on the East Coast closed down. Four feet of snow was reported in some areas. This devastating blizzard cost the US over $8 billion in losses.

2) The Great Nor’easter of 1992

From December 10th through the 13th this great snowstorm settled over the northeastern United States. States of emergency were declared in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. There were 19 fatalities and over $5 billion in losses.

3) Southern Ice Storm of February 1994

This ice storm covered the south from Texas to Virginia in February of 1994, affecting many parts for weeks. 750,000 in Mississippi alone had no electricity or water for several days. This monstrous storm cost over $4.75 billion in damages.

4) Winter Storm and Cold Outbreak of January 2014

January 5th through the 8th of 2014 brought “The Polar Vortex” to the Mid-Atlantic states with wind chills as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit for several months. The heavy snow and record low temperatures in countless Mid-Atlantic communities brought 20 fatalities and cost almost $2.5 billion in damages.

5) Deep Freeze of December 1983

“The Bone Chiller” brought heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures in more than 12 states from December 17th to the 30th. The sudden cold of this devastating storm brought 500 fatalities and cost $2.36 billion in damages.

Snowmelt Flooding: The Other Winter Danger to Consider

Freezing temperatures, ice, and heavy snowfall create enough potential hazards for the winter season as it is. However, there is one other winter danger you can’t afford to overlook. As the temperatures begin to warm again and all the snow is melting, the ground is typically saturated already and can’t absorb the added moisture. The melted snow drains back to streams, rivers, and lakes, however the excess causes serious flooding. Protect your property and job sites now with an inflatable bladder dam.  

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Winter is a hard season for construction in many parts of the country. Ice, snow, and winter storms cause construction delays and damage to project sites and equipment. Once the temperatures start to warm up, snowmelt flooding is another serious threat to property, life, and projects. Be prepared this winter and stay safe.

To learn more about protecting your property and job sites with an inflatable bladder dam, Contact Us.

The Best Flood Control for Your Commercial Property

The Best Flood Control for Your Commercial Property

In light of a very active hurricane season and proposed upcoming winter weather, flood control is a hot topic. Many businesses, roadways and other entities have experienced massive devastation due to recent events and many are seeking methods for future prevention. The WIPP® (Water Inflated Property Protector) has become a popular choice for many industries.

5 Commercial Applications of the WIPP®

Inland flooding and snowmelt flooding have the potential to cause widespread destruction to commercial properties and public roadways. But there is a way to drastically reduce the amount of water that enters your building or property by using an inflatable barrier.

Here are some common commercial applications of the Water Inflated Property Protector with proven success rates:

1) Major Roadways

During natural disasters, it is essential to have open roadways for rescues and work crews to be able to reach their destinations. The WIPP® can be placed around major roadways forming a barrier that keeps water from flooding the roads.

2) Private Businesses

Commercial property is expensive. Whether you own or rent, you don’t want to lose it all to a flood. The WIPP® forms a barrier around the building to keep evasive flood waters out so that your building and other business property is protected.

3) Educational Buildings

Educational buildings often house expensive equipment critical to the learning experience. Place the WIPP® around the buildings or structures where flooding is most likely to occur. You may want to start with the building that houses your technology – where disaster recovery could be costly.  

4) Wastewater or Chemical Plants

Wastewater and chemical plants not only hold expensive machinery, but they are often critical to daily operations of cities and municipalities. The WIPP® can help you minimize the damage that can occur when evasive waters enter the plant.

5) Grocery Stores

Before, during and after natural disasters, grocery stores are a necessity. Your community relies on you to keep your building safe and stocked so that they can purchase the means to survive should they get flooded in or lose electricity. Protect your storefront by forming a flood barrier with the WIPP® system and stay open to serve your community.

WIPP® Vs. Sandbags for Commercial Flood Protection

When flooding is imminent your first inclination may be to turn to traditional methods such as sandbags to protect your commercial property. Sandbags are messy, harder to transport and less safe for the environment. The Water Inflated Property Protector is a much better option.

Learn more about the benefits of using the WIPP® system over sandbags.

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When it comes to flood control for your commercial property, you want to be sure you’re investing wisely. Many are counting on you to keep these properties safe so that they can return to normal life once the flooding subsides. At Hydrological Solutions, we are familiar with the perils of flooding to your business and want to help you choose the best solution to keep your business safe. Contact us to learn more about how the WIPP® can seamlessly protect your biggest asset with little to no environmental impact.

How to Protect Your Business from Winter Weather Risks

As the months get colder and blankets of snow cover the colder regions, winter weather brings considerable risk to your business. Not only can winter perils affect your commercial property, but operations may be slowed or halted by extreme winter weather conditions as well. You’ll want to be sure you are prepared well before these winter weather risks rear their ugly heads.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common winter weather risks and how to protect your business during this time of year.

5 Common Winter Weather Risks for Businesses

If your area is prone to snowy and icy weather, you are probably familiar with the destruction that can occur. As a business owner, you are likely thinking ahead so that you can prepare for the worst-case scenario.

Here are a few of the most common risks businesses face during the winter and how to best prepare for winter storms:

Roof Collapse

An accumulation of ice and snow can become heavy quickly, putting a considerable amount of stress on the roof of your building. Before the storm, you should have the strength of your roof assessed. If there are concerns that your roof will handle the weight of the ice and snow, measures should be taken to improve the strength of the roof. Snow and ice should be removed as soon as it’s safe to do so to relieve the unnecessary stress placed on the roof.

Ice Dams

When ice dams build up on the edges of your roof, they prevent the water from melting snow from draining off the roof. This water can then enter your business and cause extensive internal property damage. This accumulation of water also places unnecessary strain on your roof, further increasing the risk of roof collapse. It is not recommended to remove the ice dam as this may cause damage to your roof. Instead, remove the snow to decrease the chances of ice dams forming. If you are unable to remove the snow safely without breaking the ice dam, seek out an experienced professional to minimize your chances of causing more damage to your building.

Frozen Pipes

The pressure of frozen water in pipes and sprinkler systems can cause it to burst, resulting in extensive damage to your business property. Properly insulating and sealing your pipes, vents, ceiling/attic, wall cracks, etc. to ensure your building temperature does not dip too low. Consider using a monitoring system to warn you if the temperature does get too low and invest in UL-approved heaters for rooms where pipes are most vulnerable.

Power Outages

Power outages are all too common with winter storms. Depending on the type of business you operate, it could be shut down completely if you’re left without electricity. Ensure consistent power supply by purchasing the number of generators you need to keep your business functioning. Make sure you do a trial run before the first use so that you know how to run and maintain your generator during a winter storm event.

Snowmelt Flooding

After the last snowflake has fallen and the winter storm threat has cleared, the ice and snow begin to melt. Heavy amounts of snowfall and sheets of ice turn into a large amount of water, which has to go somewhere. Protect your building from snowmelt flooding with an inflatable barrier. A water inflatable barrier can be placed around your building to keep evasive waters out and reduce your chance of sustaining flood damage to your property.  

Preparation is Key

The time to prepare for winter weather risks is now before the heavy storms hit. If you wait until the threat is imminent, you will run out of time and likely be underprepared for what is coming.

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At Hydrological Solutions, we are familiar with the risks involved with extreme weather. We want to help you keep your property intact and safe from destruction. Contact us to learn more about how our Water Inflated Property Protector can help keep your business safe from snowmelt flooding this year.

Winter Storm Preparation Tips for Construction Sites

Winter is almost upon us again and with winter comes winter storms and snow in many areas. If you have projects in areas where it snows, this means it’s time to begin preparations to protect your employees and projects. Cold weather takes a toll on your body, especially when you factor in wind chill. It’s important to take the necessary precautions.

7 Important Winter Storm Preparation Tips

Cold weather, snow, and ice slow down the human body and cause project delays, challenges, and worksite hazards. While you can’t prevent every delay and storm, worker safety is essential. Give your workers the comfort of knowing you’re protecting their safety with following winter preparation tips:

1) Minimize exposure to freezing temperatures

While workers who are unaccustomed to working in freezing temperatures are the most susceptible to the health hazards of cold weather, the extreme cold affects everyone. From hypothermia and frostbite to damaged blood vessels, the potential risks are serious to severe. If there is work that that’s impossible to reschedule, which is inevitable, provide your employees with warming stations and warm beverages.

2) Prevent icy slips

Require footwear with adequate traction to reduce the risk of slipping on icy surfaces. Encourage your employees and workers to also take shorter, slower steps to help maintain balance in slippery conditions.

3) Remove snow and ice safely

Construction is dangerous enough under normal conditions without the additional hazards of snow and ice. Remove all ice and snow before beginning work and place salt or sand on large patches of ice. Cold temperatures constrict arteries which increases the risk of heart attack. For this reason, no one with existing heart attack risk factors should be involved in snow shoveling.

4) Train workers on winter illnesses and injuries

Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of cold-related illnesses and injuries is essential to keeping your workers safe. Train your workers to identify these symptoms and warning signs in themselves and in each other and to call for emergency help right away. Provide information and resources to your employees such as OSHA’s cold stress quick card, which outlines prevention and treatment of cold-related illnesses.

5) Require proper clothing and gear

Workers should dress in warm, loose layers to promote adequate blood flow. The inner layer should be well-insulated and moisture-wicking and the outer layer should be waterproof. Waterproof, insulated boots with heavy-duty traction along with warm socks are advised for foot protection. A hat and gloves with grips for extra traction are also a must.  

6) Discourage caffeinated beverages

Caffeine can increase workers’ heart rates which creates a false sensation of warmth. This may deter workers from seeking additional warmth when they need it. Instead, provide plenty of water and encourage your workers to drink water often throughout each day for hydration.

7) Provide a warm area for breaks

While working outside in the cold weather is inevitable in construction, workers still need a warm place to take a break. Whether a heated area indoors or a covered area heated with portable heaters, they need somewhere to warm and hydrate their bodies. It’s also a good idea for employees to keep extra clothes, warm drinks and blankets there.

When the Snow Begins to Melt

Once the snow begins to melt, you will face another winter-related hazard that could impact your worksites.  Snowmelt flooding occurs as the snow melts and the ground is hardened and cannot absorb it all. The water flows back to rivers, streams, and lakes and the excess causes flooding. Prepare now by investing in a flood barrier system, such as Hydrological Solutions’ WIPP® System, to ensure your worksites will be protected in the months leading into Spring.

Stay Safe in the Extreme Cold

Winter storms and extremely cold temperatures pose serious threats to worker safety and project completion. Take steps now to ensure your workers will be safe and your projects protected. Get started with these 7 tips for winter storm preparation.

Contact Us to learn more about worker safety during the winter and how to protect your worksite from snowmelt flooding.

Using WIPP® to Keep Snowmelt Flooding from Endangering Major Roads

If you live up north, you’re likely getting started preparing for the winter snow. Frosted streets and lawns add to the magic of the holiday season, but they also present potential hazards and danger. Icy roads and deep snow can make travel difficult and getting anything done outside can be next to impossible. Another hazard you may not be thinking about yet is what happens when all the snow begins to melt.

Snowmelt Flooding: Causes

As winter begins to fade and the temperatures begin to rise again, snowmelt flooding is a very common threat. In the months approaching Spring, the ice and snow turn to water. However, the ground is hardened and unable to absorb the volume of water it produces. The melted ice and snow begin to flow back into natural water sources such as streams, rivers, and lakes. However, the excess overflows into roadways and threatens residential and commercial locations.

Protecting Major Roadways

Snowmelt is inevitable and major roadways are not immune to the impending flood waters, making travel difficult and dangerous. Utilizing a proper flood barrier system, such as an inflatable bladder dam can keep the flood waters away from the roads. Inflatable bladder dams can be lined up on either side of the road in problem areas, effectively keeping the roads free of flooding and safe for travelers.

The WIPP® Inflatable Bladder Dam

The Water Inflated Property Protector or WIPP® System from Hydrological Solutions is designed to hold floodwaters away from property, worksites, and even roads. Made from industrial grade vinyl-coated polyester laminated between two layers of flexible polyvinyl chloride, this flood barrier comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate most situations.

The WIPP® is easy to install and inflate using water available on site and it’s also environmentally friendly. Unlike sandbags, hazmat procedures are not required for disposal. Simply deflate the bladder dams, roll them up, and store them for the next flooding event.

Prepare Now for Safer Roads after Winter

Flooded roads from snowmelt waters are a common hazard in the latter months of winter. Preparing now is safer, better, and nowhere near as stressful as waiting until the last minute. Anticipate snowmelt flooding by deploying the WIPP® System in problem areas on major roads before the snow begins to melt. Make sure you have adequate WIPP® flood barriers on hand now so you can rest easy this winter.

Contact Us to learn more about the WIPP® advantage or to stock up your flood barrier inventory before winter is in full session.

Storm Preparedness: Why NOW is the Time to Think About Winter Storms

While the Gulf Coast endures the wrath of hurricane season and wildfires consume lands in the west and northwest, winter storm preparedness may be the furthest thing from your mind. But snowmelt flooding can be just as devastating as the inland flooding brought on by the wrath of Harvey and Irma. And the time to prepare is NOW.

Inflatable bladder dams used for flood protection are in high demand following the recent devastation experienced by Texas, Florida and other regions in the Gulf Coast. At Hydrological Solutions, we are receiving dozens of calls and emails daily with the request to ship our WIPP® system ASAP in anticipation of other hurricanes or tropical storms that may develop over the season. We are working quickly to fill these orders but as a gentle reminder … as much as we would like to, we cannot ship during a major storm! That is why now is the perfect time to think about preparing for the upcoming winter storm season.

The Dangers of Snowmelt Flooding

Movies tend to depict the beauty of snow. Blankets of pure white snow falling on the ground. Kids (and adults!) run outside with huge grins on their face ready to make snow angels, snowmen or participate in winter sports such as sledding and skiing. Couples meeting under the mistletoe with snow falling in their hair… you get the picture.

If you live in an area prone to snow, you know that this is a very small portion of the reality of snowstorms. As the weather gets warmer, these massive amounts of snow begin to melt and the water has to go somewhere! Snow can be dirty and downright dangerous. Snowmelt flooding can quickly submerge your home or business. Winter storm preparedness should begin now to help you keep these investments secure.

Winter Storm Preparedness with WIPP®

As we enter the fall season, soon to be followed by winter, we urge you to think about winter storm preparedness and all that entails. Consider adding the WIPP® to help keep snowmelt flood waters from consuming your property. The WIPP® provides maximum flood protection for residential and commercial properties, reducing the actual damage that can occur during snowmelt flooding.

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At Hydrological Solutions, we are pleased to be able to help you protect your properties with our patented Water Inflated Property Protector. Contact Us Now to find out the best time to get your order in to be sure you are prepared for the upcoming winter storm season.