Pinal County is no stranger to rain and floods. Our climate and unique landscape makes us susceptible to both, especially when we least expect it. Almost every year some part of Pinal County experiences a flood. Whether it leads to road closures or property damage, flooding impacts everyone. After learning about your flood risk and obtaining flood insurance, there are several ways that you can protect your property from flooding. The Pinal County Flood Control District recommends the following tips:
- Although not always practical, consider raising the existing buildings above the anticipated flood depth at the property.
- Obtain a floodplain use permit to re-grade your lot to help drain runoff away from the buildings. This works best on large lots, if flood waters aren't too deep and if the changes will not affect other properties.
- Keep natural watercourses clear. Don't dump trash, fill material, or excess vegetation in watercourse. Not only is this illegal, it also increases your risk of flooding. Materials dumped in washes can constrict flows raising flood heights and increase flood velocities. Loose debris can also be washed downstream where it can block culverts and cause damage to public infrastructure.
- Consider flood proofing your structures. Waterproof your walls and install watertight enclosures over entry ways. This is not recommended for houses with basements or if flood waters will exceed two feet in depth.
- If applicable, install a sewer backflow preventor to stop floodwaters from entering your home through the drains.
- If you live in a flood-prone area consider storing sandbags at your property in preparation for a flood. You can stop by any Pinal County Public Works maintenance yard to get up to 25 free sandbags. During the monsoon season sandbags are also available at most hardware stores.
- More information is available in the "Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House from Flooding" which is available online here: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/480