As National Preparedness Month continues, heavy rains and water logged ground has brought extreme floods to residents of northern and central Colorado. Three have been reported dead and thousands evacuated.
The heavy rains have washed away roads, completely cut off mountain towns, and are making rescue efforts difficult and dangerous.
Three lives have already been lost by the flooding.
“Boulder County appears to have been hit hardest. At least 12 dams had been overtopped by late afternoon.” Jane Brautigam, city manager in Boulder, has issued a local disaster and emergency declaration.
“A slow-moving area of low pressure over the Rockies combined with a moist, southerly flow at all levels of the atmosphere will keep the threat of locally heavy rain and flooding in place into the weekend,” said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.
Since Monday, Boulder has received 9.61 inches of rain through Thursday afternoon. Walls of water are cascading down canyon walls, forcing immediate evacuations, and bringing in the help of National Guard Helicopters for rescue efforts.
The Red Cross has set up shelter for about 200 people in an elementary school.
The Red Cross has provided these steps for those threatened by flooding:
- Stay away from floodwaters. If someone comes upon a flowing stream where water is above their ankles, they should stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of water can sweep them off their feet.
- If someone encounters a flooded road while driving, they should turn around and go another way. Do not attempt to drive through the water. If caught on a flooded road, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Be especially cautions at night when it is harder to see flood danger.
- Keep children out of the water.