Know the Dangers Found on Lakes During Severe Weather

Public Health & Safety

The National Weather Service advises “when thunder roars, go indoors.” This wisdom holds particular weight for residents who live on, or frequent one of the 600 shimmering lakes and rivers home to Orange County.

While life can be better by the lake, it’s crucial to recognize the dangers that accompany severe storms. High water levels, flooding, and floating or flying debris are common hazards during and after a hurricane. Runoff from heavy rains can also carry dangerous pollutants into the waterway.

Here are six tips to ensure safety on the lake during severe weather:

Check your local weather forecast before heading out on the water.
Return to shore if boating when a storm rolls in.
Secure a lifejacket if caught in a pop-up rain shower.
Avoid fishing, boating and swimming during severe weather and in the aftermath of a storm.
Survey docks and other structures for signs of submersion.
Watch for any wildlife that may be displaced by turbulent conditions.

Stick to these safety tips and enjoy the serenity of lakeside living with greater peace of mind, knowing you are prepared to weather any storm. After severe weather, call 311 to report any lake or drainage issues. For more information on hurricane preparedness tips, visit

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