Spring Floods Are Coming: 4 Ways They Can Get You
Spring has all but sprung for us here in Utah, and although we’ll probably get a bunch more snow before summer rolls around (don’t worry, we’re used to it…), that’s not about to put a damper on the wonderful weather we’ve been having. What might put a damper on it, however, are the spring floods that can be prevalent this time of the year. According to FEMA, there are four main causes for spring flooding. While some of these causes may be more relevant to you in your area than others, you should still be aware of them all, because spring flooding can affect everyone. Spring Thaw If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, this is a big one to look out for. When the weather warms up, snow can melt quickly, resulting in a river of runoff. According to FEMA, just one foot of compacted snow contains a gallon of water. Having all that snow melt quickly could quite literally open the floodgates and wash your home – inside and out. But it’s not just the melting snow that can get to you. Runoff joins up with rivers and streams quickly, which can then force them over their banks, causing excessive flooding. Spring Rains [caption id="attachment_17883" align="alignright" width="200"] Over-saturated ground won't absorb any more water.[/caption] Downpours that last just a few hours or prolonged precipitation that can last for days are ingredients to the recipe for floods. Spring is known for its showers and wet weather, which brings renewal to the earth. While that’s just swell, it’s also a recipe for flooding. Once the ground receives too much rain, it becomes saturated and won’t take in any more. So what happens to the water it won’t let it? It will start piling up on top, spilling down hills and into anything that stands in its way. Heavy rain is also dangerous in areas that were recently affected by fires. Forest fires burn the ground, making it more than difficult for water to seep in. Instead of going into the earth, it runs down those parched hills, flooding anything in its path. Flash Flooding Heavy rain form multiple storms or one massive thunderstorm can be too much for the ground to absorb fast enough. When this happens, you’ve got a flash flood. FEMA describes this as “rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours.” Drought-stricken areas can be a major contributor to flash floods as well, since the dry ground won’t absorb the rain. Flash floods are especially frightening due to the speed in which the waters rise. When a flash flood comes, your time for preparing are past. Levees and Dams The United States has thousands of miles of levees and dams, all of which are there to help protect us from flooding. However, these can weaken and erode – or even flood over and fail – during times of intense rain. One example of severe flooding from a dam is the Teton Dam Flood in Idaho in 1976. This flood was catastrophic and caused massive amounts of damage to the communities it rushed through. These are some of the main causes of flooding, but don’t be surprised if the waters rise in some other way. For even more ways you could be affected by floods, visit floodsmart.gov. They have a long list of flood causes, although many of them are very area specific. So, now that you know some major flood threats, how will you prepare for them? Research the various flood threats within your area and prepare accordingly. For starters, we recommend investing in an emergency kit that’s easy to grab and take with you should you need to evacuate. After all, if the flooding gets bad enough, you could be without a home for quite some time. You’ll be grateful you have those resources to fall back on. What are the flood risks in your area, and how are you prepared for them?
Tags: Floods, Spring floods
Waterproofing basements, flood insurance keeping up with the news and evacuate to a safe place.
Well , insurance for one, lol. We have evacuation routes planned out and have weather alerts on our phones set up. The largest body of water is close by car but for it to reach here from flooding would take a very large natural disaster/force but my husband does keep a large number of sand bags in the basement just in case.
We have so many rain storms pass through our area here in the southeast that flooding is a constant threat following a heavy rain. Because of that concern, plus other issues like power outages due to storms and the very real threat of tornadoes each year, being prepared for emergencies is more than just a good idea, it is a necessity.
My home is highly unlikely to get flooded, but our roads? That’s a different story! We have alternate routes planned for high water so we don’t go through the low-water crossings that flood. WE are most likely to lose power and be stuck at home, so we keep several days of food and water on hand and back-up heat available. And extra blankets.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Watch the weather, watch river levels, plan alternate exit routes. Keep a backup supply of food and water.
Unfortunately, we aren’t really prepared for a flood either. I am actually trying to put together Meals in Jars (or vacuum sealed bags) to be prepared for the 5 of us. It is scary with everything that is happening in the world!
While far from any flood zones we have food and water on hand she we ever be forced to evacuate or hold in place because of flooded roads. We do have an inflatable raft if things ever go really bad.
I hope to win! I have had a water leak in my house before. That was bad enough! Areas where I live flood some too! Rather be prepared then scared! Thanks!
Took a look around your site and the aquamira water treatment would probably be great to have in the event of flooding, because that might cause water treatment plants to become contaminated since they are at a lower elevation than where I live.
Not really prepared for a flood. Not in a flood zone. Hope it never happens. We have very dry ground here and it soaks in pretty fast when it rains or snow melts. Do have a travel trailer if need to leave. Have some meals and clean water on hand. I do have earthquake insurance though, which isn’t in most policies. Where I live you have to ask for earthquake insurance if you want it.
I hope to WIN!!!
Here in the UK, I check local drains and causeways, then report any problems to the council. A lot of flooding in my area is caused by heavy rain and it not being able to drain away.
Not just for floods but we keep all our important papers [ and photos] in waterproof containers. Have a few days worth of food/water on hand. And although very unlikely to need we have those self inflating lifevests in our gear closet.
Floods can happen anywhere. Hopefully we’re prepared for anything that might come our way.
Live up in a “bench area” so not too worried about flooding, but I always have all our important papers and an emergency kit / bug out bag at the ready. Also have several emergency evacuation route plans.
We don’t live near a water source that could flood and live on a hill, so very unlikely to have to deal with a flood. We stay aware of the areas that are likely to flood and take alternate routes. Should flooding impact power, we are prepared with various methods to stay warm and prepare food.
We’re on high ground but flood waters still pass nearby and are dangerous
NancyB from Many LA
I’m amazed at the people who enter and don’t read the directions!
We get flash floods in the community where we live, although they don’t impact us directly. We always keep a lot of food and water on hand, in case we can’t get out (which has never happened)!
We aren’t that prepared for a flood as we’re not need a flood zone but your article has made us think about it and we will be looking into any preps we can make should we ever find ourselves [ here or by traveling ] in a flood zone.
We sometimes have heavy rains with flash floods. We keep a BOB in the Truck just in case and if we miss an evacuation opportunity, we keep an axe and an SOS sign in our attic. This would be a great addition to our attic case of water bottles! Thank you for the opportunity <3
We prepared by filling our backyard with lots of mulch. This created a natural biological sponge thereby lessening the chance of water entering our homes.