Guest Column: Be safe around high water
May 29, 2014
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains, severe weather, and rapid snowmelt.
More deaths occur due to high water each year than from any other thunderstorm and severe weather. Many of these casualties are a result of careless or unsuspecting motorists who attempt to navigate flooded roads as well as people recreating to close to fast moving rivers. The National Weather Service now warns anyone who comes to a flooded roadway, "Turn around … don't drown!"
Here are some safety tips to remember to help keep you safe.
If high water occurs, get to higher ground. Stay away from high water-prone areas, including dips, low spots, valleys, ditches, washes, etc.
Avoid flooded areas or those with rapid water flow. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet.
Don't allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.
Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by high waters. Never drive through high waters or on flooded roads. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Water only two feet deep can float away most automobiles.
Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when threatening conditions exist.
Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
It's spring in Grand County. The wild flowers are in bloom, the streams hold promise for great fishing, the mountains are beckoning and the rivers are running fast. These are a few of the reasons why visitors and residents love Grand County. Please practice high water safety and continue to enjoy the wonders of the area.
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