Quandary: How to stay safe in high waters
ANY TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE NEAR HIGH WATERS?
My best tip for staying safe when the water is high? Stay out of the water. Simple, I know, but this common sense tip seems to get avoided pretty frequently. You know those videos of daring rescues where you see a first responder dangling perilously over a car while a woman stands on the roof and the water crashes over the hood? Well, she didn’t listen to this old goat.
I know you’re thinking this is a pretty extreme situation, and fairly unlikely here in Summit, but remember, it isn’t just the dramatic floods that are dangerous. A person can get washed away in as little as 6 inches of water, so the next time you are tempted to cross a stream because, after all, you can see the bottom and it doesn’t look that bad, just remember the woman on top of her car. As with most risks in Summit, it doesn’t take much to get from perfectly fine to up you-know-what creek without a paddle.
Also, when flooding occurs, it’s not just the water that’s dangerous. When you drive over soaked roads, there are two factors that add to the danger: both the water and the road. The water by itself is a force and can easily send you in a direction you don’t want to go, but the road is also a hazard. When the road is submerged you have no way of knowing what condition it is in. It is very possible there is damage or even that a road has been wiped out completely.
If flooding occurs suddenly, and you really didn’t have avoidance as an option, get as high as possible, which shouldn’t be too tricky given our surroundings. Also, with our location, spring run-off and summer rains can mean serious fluctuations in water levels, so if you are camping, steer clear of streams and washes. Just as you can get a free ride from 6 inches of water, your car can get carried away by as little as 2 feet.
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