Flood Awareness

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Flood Awareness

During and After a Flood

The most important consideration during a flood is the safety of you and your family. Flood waters can rise very rapidly. Be prepared to evacuate before waters reach your property.

A long period of rain and/or melting snow can cause a river to overflow its banks. In some cases, flood waters may rise slowly, and it can take hours or even days before flooding occurs. A dam or dike failure can cause a quick dramatic rise in rivers. You can monitor river levels by calling the Skagit County Public Works Department Hotline at 416-1404

Keep your radio tuned to your local Emergency Alert System (EAS) station to find out if you need to evacuate and how much time you have.

A Flood Warning from the National Weather Service means flooding is occurring or will occur soon. Evacuate if you are told to do so.

In a flood warning, take the following actions:

  • Secure your home before leaving. Turn off electricity, gas and water if possible.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank. Gasoline pumps will not be working if electricity has been cut off.
  • If there’s time, some items to take with you are:
  • Prescription drugs
  • Food if you require a special diet
  • Eyeglasses
  • Clothing – enough for at lest 24 hours
  • Personal items – toiletries, documents, photo albums, etc.
  • Bedding – sleeping bags, blankets, pillows
  • Baby or child supplies
  • Money - cash, credit cards, checks
  • Proper identification – especially important for small children
  • Pets will be not be allowed at shelters.

Flood Waters – The Most Dangerous!
Rushing water from floods and flash floods is extremely deceptive and dangerous. It is possible to be swept away in flood waters only one-foot deep. Remember:

    1. Police barricades are there for your protection. DO NOT DRIVE AROUND THEM.
    2. Walking or driving through flood waters is the most dangerous thing you can do.

Emergency Shelters. If you aren’t staying with relatives or friends, designated shelters operated by the Red Cross are available. Listen to the EAS or call the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management at 416-1850 for locations.

If you have special transportation problems, call the Department of Emergency Management at 416-1850.

After the Flood

  • Do not use food or water that has come into contact with contaminated flood waters.
  • Until the public water system has been declared safe, water for drinking and food preparation should be boiled vigorously for ten minutes.
  • Re-entering Your Home
  1. Before entering, check for structural damage that could cause collapse. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank and let the house air for several minutes.
  2. Do not strike a match when entering your home. There may have been a gas leak.
  3. Be careful about turning the power on again. Watch for electrical shorts or live wires. Do not use water damaged appliances.
  • Document your flood losses and contact your insurance agent for flood loss claims.
  • Follow procedures for safe clean-up of household items, food, water supply, and property.
  • Dry your house slowly. Carpets and drywall may have to be removed. Remember, water can get trapped between walls and will not dry.
  • If your home or business has received extensive structural damage, this may be the time to elevate or floodproof the structure.