State officials encourage Utahns to know their risk by checking Utah flood risk maps
Apr 14, 2023, 4:55 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 11:34 am
SALT LAKE CITY — In an effort to empower Utahns who want to know the risk of flooding in their neighborhood, officials with the Division of Emergency Management have been actively preparing and updating flood risk information on their website.
The state’s Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning program began updating FEMA flood risk maps in January 2022, covering over 5,814 square miles in the northeast portion of the state. With an active spring, the website has seen a surge in traffic.
“We’ve gone from about 2,000 users probably the first of the year, and as of last week, I think there was 20,000 plus,” said Jamie Huff, Risk MAP program manager within the Division of Emergency Management.
Users can type in their addresses and view different colored areas on the map. Blue and blue-and-red stripes indicate high-risk areas, while golden or orange areas indicate moderate risk. Areas not colored are considered low risk.
“Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. You might see dry areas that are routinely dry — they might be wet this year,” Huff said. “The site helps to give a little more information and more explanation of what hazards mean.”
While not all flood risk is mapped for the entire state, especially in rural areas, officials are actively working to change that. Utahns are encouraged to also check with their local municipality to see what information they have on flood risks.
“Low risk does not mean no risk,” said Huff. “Utahns can prepare right now by bringing some of your valuables from the basement up to a higher floor, maybe moving your downspouts, make sure they are flowing away from the home.”