Flash Flood Watch in Saguache Today
Keeping An Eye To The Sky
According to the information posted by the Saguache County Office of Emergency Management, a Flash Flood warning remains in effect for the San Luis Valley region from Noon today – August 3, 2021 through this evening.
Widespread showers and thunderstorms across the region are capable of producing very heavy rainfall today. With the ground already saturated from recent rainfall, this will lead to a significant chance for flash flooding, especially for areas with saturated soils and in and near steeper terrain.
Mudflows and rock slides will be possible in and near burn scars and steep terrain. Creeks, streams, and normally dry washes may experience rapid flooding with damage to roads possible in and near these drainage ways.
You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued. Have multiple ways to receive weather warnings. Have multiple routes for travel today in case you encounter a flooded or debris-covered road.
Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.
News from across the state, active mudslides have closed a portion of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon indefinitely, creating a domino effect to smaller re-routes already burdened with planned projects. Check ou this story from ST’s sister news site Leadville Today regarding how things are looking further north and how that also might impact things as far south as Saguache Today.
But closer to home, local emergency responders have their own challenges, as shared on the @SaguacheOEM Facebook page over the weekend with “flooding on the Bonanza road on Friday night, July 30 caused County Road LL56 to be closed for clean-up of debris flows for several hours. In addition, Poncha Pass saw shifting soil spilling out onto Highway 285 and regular users continue to tell tales of harrowing commutes for work or other needs in neighboring Salida.
Don’t Get Swept Away
By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol
With all of the fires Colorado has had over the past few years we are starting to see a real problem with flash flooding affecting our roadways in burn areas. Recently, I-70 near Glenwood Springs has been shut down multiple times due to mudslides covering the roadway. I thought this would be a good time to go over some of the safety tips we need to do to make sure our travels are done as safely as possible.
If you are planning on traveling, make sure you check two items before leaving your home. First, has there been recent fire activity in the area you are planning to travel, and second, is there any predicted rainfall.
By checking these prior to travelling, you can avoid the dangers of possibly being involved in a flashflood. Remember, the rain doesn’t’ always have to be directly at the place you are located. It can be raining somewhere away from you and the water can travel to your location.
If you come across an area of the road that has had barricades put up, don’t drive around them. Find an alternative route. If you do come across water on the roadway never drive through an area that is flooding. It only takes 6 inches of water to reach the bottom of most passenger vehicles which can cause loss of control and possible stalling of your vehicle. Twelve inches of water will float most vehicles, and 2 feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles which includes SUV’s and pickups.
Along with the water there is often debris mixed in it which can include boulders, trees, and sometimes even remains of building structures which can push your vehicle into even further danger.
If there is extremely high, fast-moving water going under a bridge, consider finding another route. The water can have debris and may suddenly surge over the bridge. Depending on the bridge condition and the amount of debris against the bridge, it could crumble under the extreme pressure it is enduring.
If your vehicle is swept away try to remain in your vehicle. Unless water is rising in your vehicle that could be life-threatening, it is safer inside until rescue personnel arrive.
It always comes down to trying not to press your luck and always take the safest route. Do this and you will always be better for it in the end. As always, safe travels!
Trooper Gary Cutler is a Public Information Officer with the Colorado State Patrol
Good News for Hicks Fire
According to a press released distributed by the US Forest Services: “Recent precipitation and minimal fire behavior allowed firefighters to put a line completely around the
Hicks fire. It was reported as controlled at 12 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 1 and all resources have been released.”