Flood Safety

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Flooding occurs when heavy rains cause stormwater runoff to exceed the capacity of arroyos, channels or ponds to carry water. El Paso Water has reduced flooding and improved public safety by making major improvements to our stormwater system. Yet, the monsoon season can bring sudden, localized and intense rains that can overwhelm the system, leading to dangerous situations.

Many El Paso streets are designed to carry stormwater, and even a few inches of moving water can be dangerous. Be aware of changing weather conditions, and share this information with loved ones and friends to help them stay safe during a flash flood situation.

Flash flood facts

  • Just six inches of water can knock over a full grown man.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs.
  • Rising water can reach above a vehicle door in less than a minute.
  • It takes just 12 inches of flowing water to carry away a small car.
  • More than half of the deaths from flooding each year occurs in vehicles.

Flash flood tips

  • Don't drive or walk on flooded streets.
  • Use safer, alternate routes.
  • Never drive around barricades.
  • Avoid streets where curbs are barely visible.
  • Don't allow children to play in canals, ditches or ponds — even when dry.
  • Use sandbags to protect your home or business if you know it floods.


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Flood zones in El Paso


Flood risks in El Paso change over time because of new building and development, weather patterns, and other factors. El Paso is in FEMA’s Region 6, which works with international, federal, state, tribal, and local partners across the region to identify flood risk and to promote informed planning and development practices to help reduce that risk. This work is done through FEMA’s Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) program. Updating flood hazard maps and the Flood Insurance Study is a multi-year effort that involves several phases.


More information on flood zones and efforts to update flood hazard maps can be found at the City of El Paso’s website here.

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