How to prepare for spring flash flooding

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With spring showers on the way, the Office of Emergency Management in Colorado Springs is getting a head start and preparing for the inevitable.

On Thursday, they hosted a workshop about flash flooding concerns in the area.

They say preventing hazardous situations is a team effort, so they invited several different agencies to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what to do when heavy rain is headed our way.

They also used the meeting as a way to remind residents about flash flood safety.

If you’re from around here, you’re probably well aware that the weather in Colorado can change in an instant.

But with new families coming in every day, the group worries not everyone may know what to do when the water rises.

“Flooding is one of our largest hazards. It’s very unpredictable,” Deputy Director of Emergency Management Bart Howard said.

The Office of Emergency Management says being prepared is one of the best ways to avoid dangerous situations. And after seeing what just a few inches of rain can do in the past, they plan to be more vigilant in the future.

“It is one of the most dangerous scenarios that you can have naturally occurring,” Lt. David Edmondson with the Colorado Springs Police Department said. “Flash floods are completely unpredictable. They are very, very strong. They are very, very destructive and it doesn’t take much to take you away.”

This spring, the Colorado Springs Police Department will have officers monitoring certain creeks when an inch of rain is in the forecast.

That way they can shut down streets before anyone gets caught in a scary situation.

“It may seem like the weather is good. The rain is falling somewhere higher on the mountain and it comes right into your city street or a culvert and before you know it, you could be overwhelmed,” Howard said.

The group wants to remind those that are new to the area to be aware of the forecast and avoid flood waters at all cost.

“If you’re experiencing flooding, if you’ve got water moving really close to your home and so forth, what we’re asking you to do then is just don’t drive, don’t get in a car and try to leave, just go to a higher ground,” Edmondson said. “We don’t want you moving around. We don’t want you in the water or near the water.”

It may be tempting to travel away from the water, but getting into a car can be even more dangerous.

“Many people are hurt or they die driving through what seems to be shallow water, but just a few inches of water can move your car and put you in a potentially dangerous situation,” Howard said. “If you see water, go around. Go away. Don’t try to go through that water.”

The group says it’s also important for families who live near a creek or along the Waldo Canyon burn scar to have a plan in place for flash floods.

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