Today’s forecast: Soggy and wet

WASHINGTON – The region is under a Flash Flood Watch until 10 p.m. Friday and rains, along with power outages, are already making their presence known.

Tropical Storm Andrea is bearing down on the Florida coast, and that has a lot to do with the rain. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory until 11 a.m.

ABC7 meteorologist Dan Pydynowski advises to watch for standing water as heavy rains come through the area throughout the day. The weather will be breezy and tropical, with isolated thunderstorms possible.

Parts of the region could see 4 inches of rain, with isolated areas getting up to 6 inches. Highs will be in the 70s.

The rain could cause hazardous driving conditions. Officials with the Bay Bridge in Maryland warn that inclement weather may prevent implementing two-way operations on the bridge, and warn drivers of delays during the afternoon rush. Wind warnings and restrictions also may be implemented.

Follow WTOP Traffic on Twitter for traffic updates, and follow these tips from AAA Mid-Atlantic on driving during a flood watch:

  • Heed the warnings of emergency officials and do not attempt to drive on closed roads or into evacuated areas.
  • Turn on windshield wipers and headlights as soon as rain begins to fall. It’s the law in numerous states, including Virginia.
  • Do not attempt to cross any standing or moving water that looks more than a few inches deep.
  • Try to avoid bridges and roads that are known to flood.
  • Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles must remember that they are not immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces.
  • Slow down. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. Rain decreases visibility and increases stopping distances.
  • Increase following distances. Normal dry pavement following distances (two to three seconds) should be increased to eight seconds when driving on slippery surfaces.
  • Be a follower. Driving in the tracks of other vehicles can improve traction and help avoid hydroplaning.
  • If visibility is limited so driving feels unsafe, pull over and wait for the rain to let up. If possible, pull into a parking lot or onto a side street where it is safer. Be sure to put on your flashers and pull as far off the road as possible.
  • Be prepared. Carry a cellphone and make sure it is charged. Have the telephone numbers of family and friends handy to call for help if necessary.

The weather also may result in power outages. Here are the outages as of 12:30 p.m.:

  • Dominion: About 100 customers are out.
  • Pepco: Pepco has about 1,900 customers out.

Contacting power companies

Should the electricity go off, here are the the websites and phone numbers for area power companies:

To get the numbers for power companies, text POWER to 91035.

Stay cool

If the outages leave you without the ability to run air conditioning, here are some tips to beat the heat.

  • Drink a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes and at least one gallon each day.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. They both dehydrate the body.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
  • If you feel dizzy, weak, or overheated, go to a cool place. Sit or lie down, drink water, and wash your face with cool water. If you don’t feel better soon, get medical help quickly.
  • Work during cooler hours of the day when possible, or distribute the workload evenly throughout the day.
  • Keep blinds drawn and windows open if there is any breeze at all. Open windows on opposing sides of your home to create a cross-breeze. Position chairs and beds in the way of the breeze instead of in corners.
  • Hang damp towels in windows to make the air cooler.
  • Keep lotions in the fridge, and bottles of water in the freezer.
  • Put as much cold food as possible in either the freezer or fridge, and open it as infrequently as possible. Objects stay cooler without power for longer than empty air.
  • Wrap a damp cloth around your neck or head.
  • Most importantly: Stay out of the sun.

For more information about the signs of heat stroke and what to do if you think someone has it, visit the CDC’s website.

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