Summit County Government

Posted on: June 11, 2015

Sheriff's Office Urges Caution During Spring Runoff

High water levels can pose safety hazards for recreators, drivers, children and pets

Contact: Taneil Ilano, Public Information Officer
Summit County Sheriff's Office
970-423-8903, TaneilI@co.summit.co.us

SUMMIT COUNTY – Rivers and streams in and around Summit County can be dangerous this time of year, as the spring snowmelt peaks. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents and visitors to be mindful of high water levels throughout the area.

When participating in outdoor activities on or near the water this spring, the Sheriff's Office urges people to be cautious of fast currents caused by elevated flows in rivers and streams. It is especially dangerous for children and pets playing along the shores of fast-moving water, as they can easily slip on wet, muddy banks and be swept away.

The Sheriff’s Office recommends the following guidelines to stay safe around high water:

  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Stay away from flood-prone areas, including dips, low spots, valleys, ditches, washes, etc.
  • Avoid flooded areas and those with fast-moving water. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. Six inches of moving water is all it takes to sweep a person off his or her feet.
  • Don’t allow children or pets to play near high water, storm drains, culverts or ditches.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. It only takes two feet of water to carry away most automobiles.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when water levels are high or fluctuating.
  • Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio or your local media for vital weather-related information.

To learn more about local flood risks, safety tips and resources, including free sandbag locations, download the Summit County Flood Information Packet at www.co.summit.co.us/flood.

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