Monsoon brings increased risk of flash flooding

Monsoon brings increased risk of flash flooding
Posted on 07/14/2022
Flooding on Doniphan Drive.

El Paso’s rainy season is in full swing. And while that means more moisture in the air, it also means more water on the streets and roadways. El Paso Water wants to remind everyone that if you’re thinking of trying to pass through a flooded area, make the smart choice and Turn Around Don’t Drown.

“Flooding is the second leading cause of weather-related deaths nationwide behind extreme heat,” Jason Laney of the National Weather Service office in El Paso said. “Tragically, Texas has seen the highest number of flood fatalities in recent years.”

People can underestimate the force and power of water. Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult, and it takes only two feet of rushing water to float most vehicles. More than half of all flood fatalities result from cars swept downstream.

While not as active as the 2021 monsoon season so far, El Paso has seen storm clouds that seemingly appear out of nowhere and drop about a half inch of rain in some localized areas.

“It comes in a flash, which is why it’s called a flash flood, “said Laney.

Keep these tips in mind during monsoon season:

  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Fast-moving water can fill streets within seconds.
  • An upstream storm can send water crashing through arroyos and canals even when local conditions are sunny and dry.
  • Do NOT hike or walk-through flooded channels or arroyos.
  • Water continues to flow down the mountain after storms pass through the neighborhood.
  • Know where children are; keep them away from stormwater canals, ponds, and channels.
  • Never attempt a rescue; you might become the next victim.

Storm cloudsSandbags available

El Paso Water offers free sandbags to customers looking to protect their properties from heavy rain. The summer sandbag distribution schedule runs from July 5 through September 30 at several locations throughout the city.

Residential customers will need to show a Texas ID or an EPWater bill to get sandbags and are limited to 10 bags per visit. Locations and hours of operation can be found here.

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