Salt Lake City

Emergency Management

(801) 799-3605 |

Flooding/Spring Runoff

Spring Runoff:

Spring Runoff is the period of time in the spring, typically from April to July, where the creeks swell from snow melt.  Flooding may occur where atmospheric conditions lead to rapid melt and stream channels become overwhelmed. For more information on Storm Water and Flood Control, please visit Salt Lake City Public Utilities .

Floods/Flash Flooding:

Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death. For more information on Storm Water and Flood Control, please visit Salt Lake City Public Utilities .

Sandbag Locations:

These stations are for residents to fill their own sandbags. Please bring your own shovels and gloves. When filling sandbags, you should leave room at the top to tie the bag shut. For a list of sandbag station locations, please visit Salt Lake County Emergency Management.

Safe Handling & Disposal Information:

For information regarding sandbag safe handling, proper disposal and reuse options, please visit Salt Lake City Sustainability.


  1. Inspect your rain gutters and downspouts and confirm that they are clear of snow and debris.
  2. Be sure storm drains closest to your home and the area around them are clear of any debris.
  3. Pay attention to your landscaping, making sure water drains away from your home.
  4. Keep children and pets away from potential flood and drainage areas.
  5. Rain on low-elevation valley snow can melt it quickly and increase runoff along streets and roadways.
  6. Shallow flooding of parking lots, roadways, and intersections could be possible.
  7. Watch out for surface runoff and shallow sheet flooding from snow-covered open areas of land or driveways that slope toward a home or residence.

Additionally, learn how to properly place sandbags here – Flood Preparedness Manual

Floods May:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.


  • Find safe shelter right away.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
    • Stay where you are.

Know Your Risk for Floods:

Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to know types of flood risk in your area. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) (link to 3.12) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

Purchase Flood Insurance:

Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Preparing for a Flood:

Make a plan for your household, including your pets so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding. Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.

In Case of Emergency:

Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies. Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

Salt Lake County Floodplain Map:

Salt Lake County Flood and Floodplain Map (

Staying Safe During a Flood:

  • Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
  • Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there, signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.

Staying Safe After a Flood:

  • Pay attention to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing, and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
  • People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
  • Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

For Additional Information on Flooding in Utah:

Flood | Be Ready Utah


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