How to stay safe when flooding hits

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DENVER — There are a few good things to remember if you find yourself in a place where flood waters are rising rapidly.

This information comes from the National Weather Service:

Stay informed

  • Monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.

Get to higher ground

  • Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately.

 Obey evacuation orders

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.

Practice electrical safety

  • Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises—get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!

Avoid flood waters

  • Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
  • Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

The following flood safety information is from Colorado Emergency Management:

When a flash flood warning is issued for your area, you need to quickly move to higher ground out of drainages or other low spots. It may be just a short run or climb to that higher ground.

Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. Do not drive through a flooded roadway. Instead turn around, do not drown. The water may be much deeper than you think because it may not be possible to see below the surface of flood waters that the roadway has been washed away. One to two feet of water will carry away most vehicles.

Areas burned by wildfires are highly susceptible to flash floods, especially within the first two or three years after the wildfire has occurred. Wildfires by themselves destroy much property and occasionally result in fatalities within Colorado. There are actions you can take to protect yourself and minimize the wildfire threat to your property.

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