Flood Preparedness

Floods are a common hazard in Blaine County, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting an entire river basin. Planning for and being prepared for floods will help you stay safe.

The Blaine County GIS staff has prepared a new web “flood story” page with current water and flood information for Blaine County: Impacts of a Record Water Year Story Map.

Flooded Road in Blaine County

Basic Flood Safety Tips

  • Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the Number 1 cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Before A Flood

During A Flood

Flood Watch

A flood watch equals “be aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

Flood Warning

A Flood Warning equals “take action!” Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and two feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

After A Flood

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
  • Before you return home, review this guide on how to deal with mold: Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters (PDF).
  • Follow the excellent step-by-step advice from FEMA and the Red Cross on how flooded property owners can clean-up, rebuild, and get help after a flood: Repairing Your Flooded Home (PDF).
  • Local water damage restoration contractors: Water Damage Restoration Contractors (PDF).