Heavy snow and rain storms have been wreaking havoc on a number of areas in Utah prompting the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings.
Most of the flooding is currently isolated in the southern portion of the state.
However, floods can happen anywhere in Utah according to Kathy Holder, DPS Division of Emergency Manager.
“We have flooding in Utah that happens year round,” she said. “But a lot of our flooding ends up happening in April and May.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert has declared March as Flood Safety Awareness Month.
The Governor’s office wants residents to know they don’t have to live in a floodplain to be a flood victim and that it is important to be prepared.
“Ninety-seven percent of Utahns don’t have flood insurance,” said Holder. “They have their homeowners insurance they think is going to cover it and it doesn’t.”
“When I’ve gone out to these disasters in Cache Valley,” according to Holder, “citizens don’t have a way to pay for anything. They’ve had to take it out of their pockets. They’ve had to take out loans and it can be very expensive.”
Holder said flood insurance is essential and usually kicks in 30 days after purchase, so it’s not too late to have proper flood coverage.
In addition to flood insurance as a means of protecting Utah homeowners, residents are urged to take extra caution when recreating near rivers and streams this spring.
Streams fed by snowmelt are higher, faster and colder than later in the year.
Cache County has experienced severe flooding in the past.
On March 31, 2017, Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency in Box Elder and Cache counties after flooding caused millions of dollars in damage to public infrastructure. Weeks later, President Donald Trump ordered federal assistance and funding to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts.
The Division of Emergency Management has created a new website to help Utahns get a flood insurance quote: www.floodfacts.utah.gov.