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September 14, 2013
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National Weather Service issues flash-flood watch for Summit County Saturday afternoon

Summit County got a taste of what Mother Nature has unleashed around the state. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch for the county on Saturday afternoon that’s set to be in place until 6 p.m. Sunday.

“Summit County was included in that because of the instability that’s going on. You have saturated soil and a tremendous amount of moisture in the air,” said Kyle Fredin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Boulder. “Thunderstorms that do get going can create flash flooding in drainage basins, valleys and low-lying areas.”

The National Weather Service estimates up to an inch of rain fell near the Continental Divide on the extreme south end of Summit County on Saturday.

“That has to flow downhill and can cause flooding because sandy soils can’t handle the water,” Fredin said.

Summit County’s flood watch comes on the heels of several days of record-setting flooding occurring in the central and northeastern parts of the state. It doesn’t look like these areas will be getting relief anytime soon, according to Fredin.

“Things are static and potentially getting worse,” he said Saturday evening. “We are seeing a lot severe weather on the eastern plains right now, primarily over eastern Denver County. Aurora is a mess, with cars that are flooded up to the windshields and people stranded. It all floods into the South Platte River Basin, and that’s going to continue to move east.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to monitor response efforts to the Colorado flooding through its National Response Coordination Center in Washington as well as its regional coordination center in Denver.

Residents are urged to monitor weather conditions, and those in impacted areas should listen carefully to instructions from their local officials and take recommended protective measures to safeguard life and property while response efforts continue.

About two dozen emergency rescue workers from Summit County spent Saturday providing emergency relief in hard-hit areas. Nine rescue workers have been taking part in swift-water rescue efforts since Friday morning. Another group was called to assist in the rescue of people stranded in canyons above Boulder on Friday afternoon.

Firefighters also continued to respond to flooding in Jefferson County on Saturday. Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue deputy chief Jeff Berino and assistant chief Bruce Farrell and Red, White and Blue Fire Rescue captain Matt Benedict are coordinating emergency response efforts as part of the Jefferson County emergency management team in Golden. A flash-flood warning remained in place in Jefferson County for most of the day Saturday, but radar indicated the rain had decreased across the area. Evergreen and Brookvale remain areas of concern.

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The Summit Daily Updated Sep 14, 2013 10:14PM Published Sep 15, 2013 03:24PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.