BE READY UTAH

Be ready for flash flooding: Expert shares advice

Jun 28, 2022, 6:00 PM

High water in the Gardiner River along the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Montana, ...

High water in the Gardiner River along the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Montana, that washed out part of a road on Monday, June 13, 2022. (National Park Service via AP)

(National Park Service via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Do you know exactly what to do if caught in flash flooding. A Utah expert gives life-saving advice if you are trapped in floodwaters in your vehicle or at home.

Wade Mathews, of Utah Division of Emergency Management, joined Dave & Dujanovic to share his expertise on flash flooding, especially if you find yourself in your car or truck when it suddenly becomes enveloped in quick-running water.

Mathews said remember this always: Turn around, don’t drown. 

“Say that little phrase, Turn Around Don’t Drown, to help us remember what to do to be a survivor. And when faced with that danger, and then specifically if you’re in a car, same thing, Turn Around, Don’t Drown. But stay in the car if you’re caught in that situation,” Mathews said.

Dave Noriega pointed out that swiftly moving water packs a punch.

“We say 12 inches of fast-moving water can knock a person off their feet,” he said, “18 inches of fast-moving water can float a car.”

Check the weather for potential flash flooding

Mathews also reminded people who like to spend time in Utah’s backcountry, slot canyons or camping, fishing and hiking to check the weather forecast before you head out for your outdoor destination. Also, he advised, check the weather watches and warnings.

“A watch means things could happen; a warning means it’s imminent,” he said.

Dave pointed out that wildfires increase the chance of flash flooding. Because blazes can burn away vegetation, shrubs and trees that would otherwise slow or stop floodwaters.

“If you are in a situation that experienced a wildfire, what we call the wildland-urban interface on the foothills and up in the wooded areas. If there’s been a fire there, yes, there’s an increased risk of flash flooding or landslides, mudslides,” Mathews said.

Flash flooding at home

“Is there anything we should be prepared for in our homes when it comes to the potential for flash floods if you live in an area that’s recently experienced a fire and there’s burn scars?” asked Debbie Dujanovic.

“Oftentimes there’s not a lot of warning that your particular area is gonna get hit with flooding, but if you have some warning, [place] sandbags, barricades barriers . . . move expensive items to higher floors,” Mathews recommended.

“If I remember correctly, don’t communities, cities or counties don’t they have resources as far as like sandbags that you can access?” Dave asked.

Mathews said check in advance with your emergency management or public works agencies to see if they have sandbags available for residents.

“You know we’re entering monsoon season. We’re seeing thunderstorms this week. [There is] flash flooding potential in southern Utah [and] south-central Utah right now. Those folks ought to be checking into those types of resources,” he said.

Be prepared for all emergencies and disasters at BeReadyUtah.gov.

Related:

Do’s and Don’ts During a Flood

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Be Ready Utah

Cars driving in the fog late at night in Roy, Utah...

Curt Gresseth

UDOT offers safety tips when driving in fog

A UDOT spokesman offers safety tips when driving in the fog.

3 months ago

Warnings are being issued about water safety after a 17-year-old boy drowned while swimming with fr...

Curt Gresseth

After two teens drown in Utah, water-safety expert warns of undercurrent danger

A water-safety expert discusses the danger of undercurrents after two teens drowned in Utah last weekend.

8 months ago

Landslides often occur without warning and with Utah's record-breaking snowfall melting, the likeli...

Waverly Golden

Be Ready Utah: What you need to know about landslides

Snow melting means moist ground below it, and therefore a high risk of landslides occurring. Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic discuss on their latest episode.

10 months ago

a store window with multiple closed signs on it, business continuity plans help prevent closures...

Sam Herrera

Be Ready Utah: Creating a continuity plan for your business

According to Be Ready Utah, 40% to 60% of businesses without a continuity plan never reopen after a disaster. 

10 months ago

Wade Mathews with Be Ready Utah discusses how to be prepared to bring needed medication with you du...

Waverly Golden

Be Ready Utah: How to manage prescription medications during an emergency

Wade Mathews with Be Ready Utah discusses how to be prepared to bring needed medications with you during an emergency.

10 months ago

Be Ready Utah was created back in 2006 for flood control in St. George, now it proves to be more us...

Aubri Wuthrich

Be Ready Utah created in 2006, due to flooding

Be Ready Utah was created back in 2006 for flood control in St. George, now it proves to be more useful than ever with recent flooding.

10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Be ready for flash flooding: Expert shares advice