Warning from rescuers: Stay away from high, fast water

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DENVER -- With more heavy rain expected into Friday, emergency officials are warning of the dangers of high and rushing water. “I’ll heed their warning and evacuate if I have to,” said resident Randy Look.

Look lives along Bear Creek in Morrison and for 25 years, he’s watched his own flood meter. “In 2013, the water got over the old stump, this year, it’s gotten to the bottom of the stump,” said Look.

With rain and thunderstorms forecast overnight, West Metro Fire Rescue was also watching. “We’re monitoring all sorts of different information as far as river height, river flow, cubic feet per second,” said Captain Doug Hutchinson.

On Thursday, Beer Creek was running 300 percent above average, Clear Creek at 200 percent and the South Platte River in Waterton Canyon at 400 percent. The canyon was closed to the public.

“There’s really no absorption that’s going to occur. Any rain that falls will essentially become river water and flood water,” said Hutchinson. The ground is saturated everywhere because of the prolonged stretch of rain we've had.

On Thursday, his dive team made sure an extra boat and all their gear was ready to go in case they needed to rescue anyone in floodwaters. “Prepare for the worst, hoping for the best,” said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said people should stay away from any moving water.

“Even six to 12 inches of water will sweep a pedestrian off their feet. Water is way more powerful than it appears,” said Hutchinson.

He also said if people live in flood plains, be prepared to evacuate and Look agreed.

“I know it’s not worth your life to stay in your home,” said Look.