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Posted on: May 28, 2019

With High Snowpack, Be Prepared for Flooding


Many people think they are not in danger of flooding if they don't live near a stream or creek. Unfortunately, this is not true. Flooding is the nation’s number one natural disaster. Flash floods, inland flooding and seasonal storms flood every region of the country and floodplain maps don’t show all areas at risk! Flooding can and often does occur outside the mapped floodplain. Flooding often occurs along smaller streams and creeks that are not shown on any flood maps. Non-creek flooding can occur from overwhelmed storm sewers, low-lying areas that do not have proper drainage, or water mains that break. Much of the true risk of flooding is its unpredictability.

Colorado’s flood season, which is historically from May through October, includes both snowmelt and thunderstorm flooding. Snowmelt floods result from the melting of the winter snowpack in the high mountain areas which becomes spring runoff. The snowpack for the South Platte River Basin is currently at 200% percent of normal which can lead to additional flood risk with warmer temperatures.  Thunderstorm floods are caused by intense rain over relatively small areas. Because there is little to no warning time, the term flash flood is often used to describe thunderstorm floods. Between 20 and 30 large floods occur in Colorado every year and Colorado experiences a major flood disaster roughly once every five years.

You can reduce your risk of flooding by being prepared and knowing how to respond when there is a flood. Below are links to learn more about flood safety, flood recovery, flood Insurance, how to be prepared before a flood, how to develop an emergency plan, and what to do during a flood. 

Flood Resources:

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