CDOT urges drivers to use caution during summer storms
Summer is winding to an end — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area saw its first dusting of snow early Thursday — and state officials are warning motorists heading up to the mountains to be cautious of weather conditions over the holiday weekend and beyond.
Roadways in mountainous areas are particularly vulnerable to changes in weather, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, and rain is no different. Summer storms can lead to a number of roadway impacts including flash flooding, mudslides and rock falls, and CDOT is warning motorists to check in on weather conditions and forecasts before making a trip to the mountains.
According to CDOT, road closures are fairly common this time of year. In the event of a closure, officials with CDOT say individuals should never leave their vehicles unless absolutely necessary and should never hang out on medians that might be needed for emergency vehicles.
Additionally, CDOT recommends individuals keep an emergency kit in their cars containing water, snacks, a flashlight and blanket. Drivers also should remember to pack extra water if they have pets, and those with children should consider packing something to keep them occupied in the event of a long closure.
If rain causes flooding or other natural obstacles, CDOT recommends following several safety precautions. Motorists should never drive through a flooded area because 8 to 10 inches of water is enough to carry away an average size car. Drivers also should avoid moving too fast on wet roads to prevent hydroplaning. Of note, water and mud on roadways can potentially contain unknown hazards under the surface, such as rocks or other debris like tree branches.
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