ServiceMaster River Valley Restoration
Flash flooding is one of the most dangerous natural disasters. It is generally caused by precipitation that has nowhere to go and it happens so fast that residents barely have time to respond to the emergency alert. This is the situation that affected over 50,000 people in Lake Havasu City, Arizona this past July as rains in the area quickly caused flash flooding. Flash floods are a recurring problem in the Lake Havasu area due to the distinctive geographic and climate characteristics. Desert sand typically fails to absorb rainwater quickly. Therefore, occasional rainfall can inadvertently trigger massive consequences.
Natural disasters are beyond our control, but instead of waiting for bad weather that can result in flooding, you should be ready for a worst-case scenario. Being prepared to experience flash floods can help you better protect yourself and your property.
Flash Flood Damage
Flooding is not unusual for Arizonans to experience. According to the Emergency Information Network, Arizona experiences between 40 and 100 floods each year. Inevitably, flooding in Lake Havasu City, AZ contributes to these statistics. On Tuesday, July 13th, the National Weather Service announced a flash flood watch throughout the Lake Havasu area from 2 p.m. through midnight.
Desert climates are especially vulnerable to flash flooding. During the monsoon season, the humidity increases and generates intensive rainfalls. The rainfalls then meet desert clay soils that are already saturated with moisture which prevents water from getting absorbed into the ground. As a result, the water level rises which leads to flooding.
Fortunately, the occurrence in Lake Havasu City did not create severe flood damage. However, the outcome is the same old story. Flashflood-stricken regions commonly experience a minor to extensive disturbance in services and transportation. They generally suffer from economic loss, road deterioration, uprooted trees, power outages, household demolition, water damage, and contamination.
Protecting Your Property from Flash Flood Damage
Residents living in areas vulnerable to flash flooding should acquire an understanding of what to do when a flash flood occurs, make cautious preparation, and have the capability to adapt instantaneously. Actions may vary depending on the circumstances.
If you receive a flash flood warning, evacuate immediately to a safe area at higher ground level, and away from vulnerable areas.
If a flash flood watch or warning is issued and you have a reasonable amount of time to act, make sure you do the following:
- Disconnect your home’s electrical power: Prevent electric shock by turning off all the switches/valves and circuit breakers as well as unplugging your appliances. Don’t touch any electrical lines with wet hands or while standing in water.
- Secure your valuable assets and document the damage: Bring your most valuable and vulnerable items to the upper floors of your home. Keep them in a safe and dry place and move your outdoor furniture inside the house to minimize flood damage.
- Pack your emergency survival kits: Put together an emergency kit in case you need to leave your home or are stuck without power. It should include supplies such as water, a first-aid kit, medication, personal hygiene items, phones, chargers, nonperishable food items, and a flashlight.
- Turn off your gas: Prevent fires and explosions by turning off your gas if instructed.
If you’re concerned that flash flooding puts your home at risk of major damage, purchase separate flood insurance to protect your property. In most cases, comprehensive coverage on an auto insurance policy will cover flood damage to your car.
Surviving and Recovering from Flash Flood Damage
Preparation is important, but natural disasters often come with short notice. If you abruptly find yourself in the midst of an imminent flash flood, whether at home or on the road, it is critical to:
- Secure yourself in a safe position: Find the highest possible ground to protect yourself and wait for the rescue team. Avoid threatening locations such as creeks, streams, and rivers. If the water rises inside your vehicle, move to the roof for refuge. If you are trapped inside the car, you can escape by rolling down or breaking open your windows to let the water flow through.
- Do not try to walk through moving water: Be aware that swift water is hazardous and forceful. An intensive flash flood can wash away not only your belongings, but also heavy furniture and vehicles. Also, the violent water wall may include rocks, mud, and debris that can cause injury. Therefore, take a firm and stable position. If you want to walk through still water, try to look for a stick and use it to estimate the depth of the water and the strength of the ground underneath it.
A flash flood generally lasts for less than six hours, but it can have a damaging effect. It is imperative to take immediate action after a flash flood to minimize further damage. Water damage within a home is difficult to tackle and often requires tremendous work from professional technicians. At ServiceMaster River Valley Restoration, we offer quick and effective flood damage cleanup and water damage restoration. We’re dedicated to returning properties ravaged by floodwaters to habitable conditions.
Professional Water Damage Restoration – 24/7
If your home or business in Lake Havasu City, AZ, is affected by flooding or water damage, call our professionals at ServiceMaster River Valley Restoration right away for water mitigation. We are available 24 hours a day at (928) 263-2644 for emergency water damage restoration services.