County and cities prepare for spring flooding

Sweetwater County authorities are preparing for the possibility of spring flooding due to a higher than average snow fall.

According to the USDA SNOTEL Map, the snow water equivalent for Sweetwater County is currently 137% of normal.

Representatives from various cities and county officials met on Thursday, March 16 to discuss flood response procedures, mitigation, and flood safety.

Sweetwater County Emergency Management is monitoring the Flood Alert System and will be notified by the National Weather Service if flooding is forecasted. Emily Covey, Sweetwater County Emergency Management Coordinator said, “consistent warmer temperatures will thaw the snow and ice creating snowmelt run off and increasing the risk of floods but the current weather forecast for March 20-27 is showing temperatures below 40, slowing snowmelt.”

Emergency Management and Public Health in conjunction with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office will release updates and useful information to the public in a timely manner including identifying locations to avoid and where individuals can fill their own sandbags.

Homeowners should pay attention to the forecast to get a sense of how fast you’ll need to act to prevent water damage.

To stay safe during a flood, do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Flood waters also contain sewage, chemical contaminants, and they also often carry many hidden dangers such as electrical wires, blunt or sharp objects, and other debris. Dirty flood waters are also known to cause wound infections, skin rash and even gastrointestinal illness.

If your home or business is flooded, the air inside can quickly become unhealthy from mold, sewage, germs and other contaminants.

When cleaning the inside of any building after flood waters have receded or been pumped out of the building, always wear protective gear including an N-95 respirator, goggles or eye protection, gloves, long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and boots.

Most importantly, don’t wait until it’s too late!

Make a plan for your household or business, including an evacuation plan for family, pets and coworkers, so that everyone is prepared and knows what to do, where to go, and what will be needed to protect yourselves in the event of a flood.


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