Sheriff’s Office: be wary of rising river levels | SummitDaily.com

Sheriff’s Office: be wary of rising river levels

With local river flows at or near their peak, the Summit County Sheriff's Office reminds residents and visitors to be mindful of high water levels throughout the area. Waterways in and around Summit County can be dangerous this time of year, during the spring runoff.

The Sheriff's Office strongly discourages people from any recreational activities in the water without proper training, experience and equipment.

"Summit County rivers can look tempting on warm, sunny days, but they have a strong current and flow. In the past, our rescue team has responded to individuals taking inflatable pool toys down one of our local streams, who then ended up stranded in the river. Enjoy the recreation that Summit County offers, but please use the appropriate level of safety," Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons stated.

For detailed, real-time information on local stream flows, see the Summit County Swift-Water Safety and Flood Preparedness Guide (SummitCountyCO.gov/flood), which contains links to data from key stream gauges throughout Summit County.

As a reminder, register for Summit County Alert to receive public information and emergency messages. Sign up at scalert.org.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Summit County Office of Emergency Management recommend the following guidelines to stay safe around high water:

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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 2 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.

When recreating in or around the water, use the proper size and type of personal floatation device (PFD, or life jacket).

Anglers should wear wading belts to prevent water from entering waders during a fall.

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.