Safety Tip: Monsoon season, flash floods (July 28, 2021 Hotline)

Safety Tip: Monsoon season, flash floods

Now that we’re in the Southwest’s monsoon season, the Emergency Planning Committee would like to share some information about flash flood safety. Flash floods occur suddenly and usually within hours of excessive heavy rainfall, becoming raging torrents of water, ripping through neighborhoods, streets, valleys, etc., and sweeping away whatever is in their path. Flash floods can also occur when a dam or levee fails. There are three weather alerts surrounding flash floods: a watch, a warning or an emergency. During a watch, you should start thinking about your plan of action if the flash flood becomes a warning, which is when dangerous flooding is already happening and you may have seconds to move to higher ground. An emergency is rare and only called by the weather service if there is a severe risk to human life and catastrophic damage is happening.

Turn around, don’t drown

  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Do not walk, swim or dive through flood waters. If you see flooding ahead, turn around and go back.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water, the bridge may be washed away without warning.
  • Stay inside your car if trapped in rapidly moving water or get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
  • Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. only go to the roof if necessary and once there, signal for help.

For more information about flood safety, visit

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