Flood Safety Tips During Monsoon Season

Here in New Mexico, things can be so hot and dry one moment and so wet and rainy the next. In either case, it’s essential to be safe.

The Weather, Lately!

The last three years have been the hottest and driest three years ever recorded in New Mexico, in all the years in which anyone has been keeping track—so at least since 1895. The state’s reservoirs are only 17% full overall; Elephant Butte Reservoir is not even 15% full.

And yet, every year, even now, despite drought, we have monsoon season—a season of torrential rain, hail, wind, and flooding.

Last year, in July of 2013, the storms were so epic that one was technically a hurricane. Streets across the city flooded; cars foundered up Eubank Blvd. as if it was a river and they were boats taking on water; 27,000 people lost power; winds blew as fast as 93 m.p.h.; and huge trees were uprooted like weeds from parks and yards in every part of town.

We live in an extreme place—extremely beautiful and extremely dry. And when it gets extremely wet like that, when monsoon season kicks in, we need to be prepared.

Are You Ready For the Flood?

When it’s so dry so much of the year, it’s easy not to think much about being prepared for a flood. But for business owners and home owners, it’s not something you can afford to forget.

When flash floods happen, more rain falls than the ground can absorb, and so the water moves across the ground, picking up debris and not stopping for anything.

If you see a flash flood…

If you see a flash flood, stay away, even if it looks shallow enough to drive or wade through. All it takes is a couple of feet of water to sweep a car away. And of course, keep your children away. They might want to play in or around ditches and storm drains, but that really isn’t safe.

If you have low-lying property that you need to protect, pick up some free sandbags and sand from a city fire station.