ROCK SPRINGS — Did you know that flooding is a leading cause of death in many disasters? Sweetwater County Public Health, Sweetwater County Emergency Management, and the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to know how to stay safe in case of flash flooding.
Sweetwater County has a long history of flash floods that have destroyed property and severely damaged many of our communities’ homes and businesses. Flash floods are naturally unpredictable and often occur without warning. In the event of a forecast of severe thunderstorms, Sweetwater County Public Health, in coordination with Sweetwater County Emergency Management and the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, will release updates and useful information to the public in a timely manner including identifying locations to avoid and where individuals can fill their own sandbags.
To stay safe during a flood do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Flood waters also contain sewage, chemical contaminants, and they also often carry many hidden dangers such as electrical wires, blunt or sharp objects, and other debris. Dirty flood waters are also known to cause wound infections, skin rash and even gastrointestinal illness.
If your home or business is flooded, the air inside can quickly become unhealthy from mold, sewage, germs and other contaminants. When cleaning the inside of any building after flood waters have receded or been pumped out of the building, always wear protective gear including an N-95 respirator, goggles or eye protection, gloves, long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and boots.
Most importantly, don’t wait until it’s too late! Make a plan for your household or business, including an evacuation plan for family, pets and coworkers, so that everyone is prepared and knows what to do, where to go, and what will be needed to protect yourselves in the event of these very dangerous flash flooding events.