Flood watch in effect: Conditions favorable for flooding in Grand County
Coming off a well above-average snowpack, the conditions in Grand County are currently right for flooding.
Grand County Emergency Management is currently monitoring the flows, rivers and reservoirs across the county. There is no remarkable flooding at this time, however, according to officials.
A flood watch is currently in effect for the area, which means conditions are favorable for flooding to occur, but not that it will occur.
If temperatures remain high for a long period of time, according to officials, Grand County could be upgraded to a flood advisory, which means flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning.
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Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir, for example, would be considered flooded if it reaches 7 feet, designated as the National Weather Service Flood Stage. As of June 19, it was at only 3.84 feet. The highest recorded peak stage for the specific body of water was in June 2010, when it reached 6.07 feet.
Flash Flood Watch: A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding. It does not mean that flash flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flash Flood Warning: A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Warning: A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
River Flood Watch: A River Flood Watch is issued when river flooding is possible at one or more forecast points along a river.
River Flood Warning: A River Flood Warning is issued when river flooding is occurring or imminent at one or more forecast points along a river.
How floods occur
A flood occurs when water inundates land that’s normally dry, which can happen in a multitude of ways.
Excessive rain, a ruptured dam or levee, rapid melting of snow or ice, or even an unfortunately placed beaver dam can overwhelm a river, spreading over the adjacent land, called flood plain.
Most floods take hours or even days to develop, giving residents time to prepare or evacuate. Others generate quickly and with little warning. So-called flash floods can be extremely dangerous, instantly turning a babbling brook or even a dry wash into rushing rapids that sweep everything in their path downstream.
Floods cause more than $40 billion in damage worldwide annually, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the United States, losses average close to $8 billion a year. Death tolls have increased in recent decades to more than 100 people a year
When floodwaters recede, affected areas are often blanketed in silt and mud. The water and landscape can be contaminated with hazardous materials such as sharp debris, pesticides, fuel, and untreated sewage. Potentially dangerous mold blooms can quickly overwhelm water-soaked structures.Residents of flooded areas can be left without power and clean drinking water, leading to outbreaks of deadly waterborne diseases like typhoid, Hepatitis A, and cholera.
Before a flood
- Avoid building in a floodplain.
- Construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering your home.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
- If a flood is likely in your area, listen to the radio or television for information.
- Know the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning. A watch means flooding is possible. A warning means flooding is occurring or will occur soon.
When a flood is imminent
- Be prepared. Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Don’t forget to include needed medications.
- If advised to evacuate your home, do so immediately.
- If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
- If possible, bring in outdoor furniture and move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances.
Get more tips by following Grand County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.
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