Spring Runoff and Flooding Safety Tips in Park City

What to Do to Before, During, and After a Flood

spring runoff, what to do during a flood
With spring runoff comes flood danger.
Living in Park City, we’re aware of certain seasonal dangers, from wildfires in the summer to avalanches and blizzards in the winter. However, with spring comes another possible danger to our homes, property, and families. Spring brings melting snow high in our mountains and melting snow means runoff. As well, with big winters comes heavy spring runoff. While not every home or business is at risk of possible floods, many are. Knowing how to prepare for the possibility of a flood and what to do during and after a sudden flood can save your valuable property and even lives.

Preparing for the Possibility of a Flood

In preparing for the possibility of a flood you need to know your property and the surrounding areas well. Also, you’ll need to prepare for an emergency situation, up to and including evacuation. What you’ll need to do to prepare for a flood:

  • Consider flood and earthquake insurance if you’re in a high or moderate risk area
  • Know the elevation of your property in relation to flood plains, streams, and any other waterways in the area
  • Understand the surrounding areas and their tendency for heavy runoff in the spring
  • Deploy sandbags where appropriate (sandbags can be acquired at the Park City Public Works, more information here)
  • Create an evacuation plan—where to go, what to do, and where to meet should a flood occur
  • Prepare your emergency supplies kit with enough supplies for 72 hours, this includes food, water, a portable radio, flashlights, batteries, and a first aide kit
  • Keep your car as full of gas as you can during the runoff season
  • If a flood watch is in effect, move your valuables to a higher elevation if time permits
  • In the event of an oncoming flood, open any basement windows to equalize water pressure on foundations and walls

Evacuating During a Flood Situation

  • Keep a radio handy to listen for weather and evacuation information
  • If you have been asked to evacuate and you have time, shut off the main power switch, main gas valve, and main water valve
  • Follow local evacuation directions to get to your evacuation site or shelter
  • If a road is flooded during your evacuation, do not drive through standing water, find another route
  • Be alert for fallen trees, wires, slides, or damaged roads
  • Drive slowly and in low gear, if you have 4-wheel drive, use it
  • In the event of a vehicle stall, abandon your vehicle, grab any supplies you can carry, and seek higher ground

After a Flood Emergency

  • Do not return to your home or business until you have the official ok from public heath officials
  • Check your home for major structural damage before you enter
  • Watch for live electrical wires and keep the electricity off until you know it’s safe
  • Do not use any open flames, in case of a gas leak, use flashlights only
  • Do not consume any food or water contaminated by flood water
  • In the event of damage or standing water, call the utilities companies necessary to fix damage before you turn on water, gas, or electricity

Remember these important tips to stay safe in the Wasatch before and during a flood in our area. The Park City Fire District is always here to alert you to any threats in the community and, as always, should you have an emergency do not hesitate to dial 911.

Stay safe Park City and happy spring!