Deadly Flash Flood Hits Utah-Arizona Border

Deadly Flash Flood Hits Utah-Arizona Border

Many throughout the West Coast and the South West are eager for rain this winter. This year’s drought has been particularly hard, and the popular consensus is that incoming El Nino storms might bring some much-needed rain to the two regions over the next few months. However some of those storms are also predicted to be rather strong, and the chances of flash floods are fairly high throughout California, Utah and a number of other western states. In fact, back in September, a flash flood hit a small town, Hildale, along the border between Utah and Arizona, and it claimed approximately 20 lives. During the flooding, rushing waters swept away a vehicle containing one woman and 13 children—only three children survived.

Flash floods shouldn’t be taken lightly. According to, flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. If you happen to live in a region of the West or the Southwest that’s particularly susceptible to flash floods, then it’s important that you understand the basics on how to survive a flood. First off, whatever you do, avoid driving or walking through flood waters over six inches deep. In fact, moving water that’s over six inches can actually be strong enough to sweep you off your feet—two feet of water is all that’s needed to carry a car away. In the event of a flash flood, do your best to move to higher ground. If you’re trapped in your car when the waters rise, but the floodwater itself isn’t moving very much, then you need to escape and get to higher ground. However, if the water is moving rapidly, stay put and don’t move.

If you’re at home and there’s a general flood warning, then make sure to keep your radio and TV on at all times. If you have a second story, then stay up there. Also, turn off gas and electricity at the main valve if you’re instructed to do so by FEMA. Lastly, if you need to leave your home, then make sure to do so in a quick and orderly fashion, and do your best to make it to higher ground. If you live in a flood-prone area, make sure to prepare a basic emergency kit at home. You should pack enough food (like dehydrated meals) and water to last you and your loved ones three days. Also, make sure to pack some basic items—like toiletries, medical supplies and clothing—as well. Some people also pack different kits for the home and the family car—in the event that they need to evacuate quickly, they can make sure that they can have some basic supplies already packed away in their main mode of transportation. By preparing an emergency kit in advance, you can help to increase you and your family’s chances of successfully surviving a natural disaster or event.


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