(KLIX) – A leading cause of severe weather-related deaths: flooding.

This is the time of year when quick snow melts and other factors cause flooding, heightening the dangers for people who are out and about. Idaho wants people to be aware of those dangers.

On Monday, Gov. Brad Little signed a proclamation designating March 18-23 as Flood Awareness Week.

"Spring snow melt fills our reservoirs for irrigation needs and helps keep our forests and rangelands healthy, but when the snow melts too quickly it causes dangerous flooding,” Little said in a statement. “That’s why Idahoans need to remain prepared for the flood risk every year.”

Weather officials say several areas of the state have a higher than average risk of flooding this year, including the Big Lost and Wood River Basins as well as the Upper Boise, Payette and Weiser Basins.

“Snow amounts in Idaho's mountains are not as high as they were in 2017, when significant flooding occurred, but they are high enough that Idahoan's will need to monitor river levels and be aware of the dangers of flooding near streams,” said Jay Breidenbach with the Boise office of the National Weather Service. “If hot weather melts the snow too quickly, or if heavy rain occurs during peak snow melt, this will also increase our risk.”

The governor’s office published a number of basic rules as a reminder to help keep people safe:

  • Never drive through flooded roadways, even if it looks shallow. Just a few inches of fast moving water can wash away a heavy truck. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Monitor your favorite local news source for the latest weather information
  • If flooding happens get to higher ground fast
  • Never cross any barriers put in place by law enforcement
  • Always have an emergency kit in your home and your vehicle in case you need to evacuate to higher ground quickly.

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