Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Flood After Fire - The Second Disaster
While it may not seem so now, the fires burning all over California will soon be extinguished. And although it may feel like that will be the time to let out a sigh of relief, another threat is close behind. FEMA reminds those living downhill and downstream of burn scar areas are at an increased risk of flooding, and this risk can last for years after a fire. Flooding can be a hazard even if you are not living in what is currently a high-risk flood area.
In the aftermath of wildfires, burn scars are left without the vegetation that can help absorb rainfall. In addition, the soil itself can be left with a hardened crust, almost acting like concrete when redirecting water. These conditions can turn what would normally have been a simple thunderstorm into a flash flood event. These events can come with very little warning.
An additional hazard exists in the form of mudflows, where water picks up ash and debris that have been left behind after a fire. These mudflows can inflict a great deal of damage to your home and property.