SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Southern Utah has been hit by severe flash flooding in recent days, including this weekend flooding in Paragonah and Monday’s flooding that left numerous Southern Utah University students without housing.
Do you know what to do if you are caught in a flood situation like the one seen in the video below from Cedar City?
Wade Matthews from the Utah Division of Emergency Management joined ABC4 News on Tuesday to offer tips.
If you see flood waters, like those in the video above, Matthews says be aware.
“Six inches of fast-moving water can knock a person off their feet,” Matthews explains. “Eighteen inches of fast-moving water can float a car or SUV.”
If you do find yourself facing floodwaters, turn around and find a different way. If you end up caught in the water while in your vehicle, Matthews says it is best to stay inside, unless your vehicle is filling up with water.
“Then you’d want to get up on top.”
If you are on foot, Matthews states your safest option is to get to higher ground.
“Turn around, don’t drown, and then go to higher ground,” Matthews explains.
To prepare your home in the event of flooding, Matthews recommends turning off all of your utilities – your gas line, water line, the electricity.
Flooding can cause broken gas lines, which can cause contamination in your home, according to Matthews. Be sure to move valuables to higher levels in your home and, if you have access to them, stack sandbags around your house away from the foundation and not against basement windows.
“We saw people [Monday] in Cedar City that the water just broke the windows out, but if you can board those up in advance then, if you have to evacuate, don’t wait until it gets too dangerous.”
In the worst-case scenario of waters getting into your home, Matthews says it is important to get any wet material out of your home to prevent mold.
For more details about how to prepare for flooding, and what to do after it happens, visit dem.utah.gov.