Be Alert for Flash Flooding During Monsoon Season



Los Alamos County is reminding residents of the dangers of thunderstorms and flash flooding, which could be extremely high in the canyons of Los Alamos, due to last year’s Las Conchas Wildfire.

Flash flooding occurs when precipitation falls too quickly on saturated soil or dry soil that has poor absorption ability.

The runoff collects in low-lying areas and rapidly flows downhill.

Flash floods most often occur in normally dry areas that have recently received precipitation, but may be seen anywhere downstream from the source of the precipitation, even many miles from the source.

Take the following precautions:

  • Listen to the County’s emergency management radio station (1610 AM), local radio station KRSN (1490 AM) or to NM’s Emergency Alert Station, KKOB 770 AM; tune in to the Albuquerque television stations or use a NOAA weather radio for frequent updates about rapidly changing conditions and flash flood alerts.
  • Keep your friends and neighbors informed of changing conditions and possible flood threats – flash floods develop very fast with little warning.Check the local daily weather forecast when making plans to be outside! You can visit this Website: Other weather sites can be found under the County’s “Public Safety/Emergency Management” link
  • When hiking or driving mountains or canyons, be alert to flash flood dangers if severe weather approaches, especially in the afternoons when showers are most likely. Keep others informed of your plans. A good rule of thumb: if it starts to storm, move to high ground! You don’t want to be in a canyon in a heavy rainstorm!
  • Just because it isn’t raining where you are doesn’t mean you aren’t in danger. Floodwaters flow DOWN canyons and arroyos. If you are below the storm and on low ground, floodwater and debris could be upon you within minutes.
  • Keep pets and children out of canyons and arroyos during the monsoon season – warn children of the dangers of playing in or near canyon streams and arroyos
  • Never drive through floodwaters of unknown depth – find a safer route or stay put. The road under the water could be washed out.
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