Five Utah Counties Warned About Possible Snowmelt Flooding

Mar 3, 2017

Portions of five northern Utah counties are being warned about the possibility of weekend flooding, amid forecasts of rising temperatures melting heavy snow. 

Cache, Rich and the northeastern sections of Weber, Box Elder and Morgan counties were under a flood warning beginning Friday. The advisory runs until Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service says daytime temperatures should be in the 50s and low 60s on Saturday, and rain is possible on Sunday.

There is also concern as the soil is already saturated in northern Utah, which will increase the chance of flooding. The cities of Ogden, Logan, Brigham City and Tremonton are in the flood warning area.

FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is recommending residence in Utah, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming to get flood insurance. On average, flood insurance costs about $700 a year and since 1978, residence of the six states have collected more than $404 million in insurance payments.

FEMA also came out with a number of different steps you can take to help secure your property:

·         Make sure downspouts carry water several feet from your house to a well-drained area. - About 2,500 gallons of water will come from a 1,000 square foot roof with one foot of snow depth across the roof. This much water may cause problems if allowed to drain next to the house.

·         Examine and clean your sump pump if you have one. Test your sump pump by pouring water into the pit. Make sure the discharge hose carries the water several feet away from the house to a well-drained area. Also, make sure that the pipe is on sloped ground so it drains to prevent it from freezing.

·         Remove snow from around rural yards to minimize soft, wet soil conditions. Remember that a 20-foot diameter 10-foot high pile of snow contains about 2,600 gallons of water. Move the snow to well-drained areas.

·         Anchor any fuel tanks. An unanchored tank in your basement can be torn free by floodwaters and the broken supply line can contaminate your basement. An unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream, where it can damage other houses.

·         Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12" above your home's projected flood elevation.

·         Place the furnace and water heater on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12” above the projected flood elevation.

·         If your washer and dryer are in the basement, elevate them on masonry or pressure-treated lumber at least 12” above the projected flood elevation.

·         Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family.

·         Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be the "family contact" in case your family is separated during a flood. Make sure everyone in your family knows the name, address, and phone number of this contact person. 

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