With our record snowfall this winter and spring on the horizon, warmer temperatures and nicer days are just around the corner.
Mother Nature is unpredictable during this time of year, which could mean severe storms and flooding that will coincide with the spring runoff. Now is the time to be aware and be prepared. Our mountain snowpack this year is one of the highest we have seen and we are expecting a very high runoff coming our way. Here are some steps in helping all of us to pre-plan and prepare for the spring and summer.
First and foremost is to have flood insurance, but it can’t be done when the water is rising or already here. Low lying homes that have a very good potential to flood need to look into insurance.
Downspouts on homes should be set up to carry water several feet away from your home to an area that is well drained. An estimate of 2,500 gallons of water will come off a roof that is 1,000 square-foot with 1 foot of snow on it. This could cause problems around your foundation and property as well as for the neighbors nearby.
If you have a sump pump in your home, make sure to test it. You don’t want to find out it isn’t working after the fact. Many of these pumps have alarms, check them as well. Make sure the water that is being discharged is carried several feet from your home to a well-drained area and make sure the pipe or hose is not going to freeze.
Make sure all electrical components are high enough that they will not be in danger of water being able to access them. Furnace and water heaters should be placed on blocks to make sure they are not able to be consumed with water. Look at other appliances that may be of concern and may need to be elevated such as your washer and dryer.
Just like having a fire escape plan, you should plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Include an accountability plan for everyone if the need arises.
Another area where everyone should practice safety is the river. As the river rises with the runoff it will be moving faster and most likely with a lot of debris. The increased water flow will create washouts and make some banks unstable. Pay attention to everything when around the river, even expert swimmers will find the currents and speed of the river dangerous.
These are just some tips to prepare for flooding situations. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable spring and summer. Education, planning and preparation are the keys to keeping you and your home safe for any type of situation.