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Homeowners should take steps now to prepare for potential flooding

Utah has seen a historic snowpack this winter season, which has caused excitement for skiers and snowboarders but also raised concerns about potential flooding. The snowpack is a critical source of water for Utah's rivers and streams, and as it melts in the spring, it can cause significant flooding if it melts too quickly.

According to the National Weather Service, Utah's snowpack is well above average, with some areas seeing as much as 200% of their typical snowfall. This has resulted in a snowpack that is deep and dense, which means that it will take longer to melt than in previous years. However, if temperatures rise quickly or if there is a significant rainfall, the snowpack could melt rapidly, leading to flooding.

The potential for flooding is a serious concern, as it can cause significant damage to homes and infrastructure. Homeowners should take steps to prepare for potential flooding to protect their property and keep their families safe. Here are a few tips to help prepare for potential flooding caused by the snowpack melt:

  1. Maintain your sump pump: If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition. Check it regularly and have it serviced if necessary. A functioning sump pump can help prevent water damage to your home in the event of flooding.
  2. Clear your gutters: Make sure your gutters are clear of debris, such as leaves and branches, so that water can flow freely away from your home. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up, which can lead to flooding.
  3. Ensure home drainage: Make sure your property's drainage system is working properly. Check that any drain pipes or channels are clear and free of blockages. If necessary, consider installing additional drainage to help divert water away from your home.
  4. Keep an eye on the weather: Stay informed about weather conditions and potential flooding in your area. If you live near a river or stream, keep an eye on water levels and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
  5. Consider flood insurance: Whether you are in a high risk zone or not, you may need flood insurance because most homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage. If you live in an area with low or moderate flood risk, you are 5 times more likely to experience flood than a fire in your home over the next 30 years. For many, a National Flood Insurance Program's flood insurance policy could cost less than $400 per year. Call your insurance agent today and protect what you've built.
  6. Homeowner Associations (HOA): If you live in an HOA, reach out to your board to verify that they conduct regular maintenance on all sump pumps, if any.

By taking these steps, homeowners can help protect their property and keep their families safe during the snowpack melt season. Learn more at https://slco.org/flood-control/flood-preparedness-manual/

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