Trooper Tips-Don’t Get Swept Away

Ridealong- Durango 2021


With all of the fires Colorado has had over the past few years we are starting to see a real problem with flash flooding affecting our roadways in burn areas.  Recently, I-70 near Glenwood Springs has been shut down multiple times due to mudslides covering the roadway.  I thought this would be a good time to go over some of the safety tips we need to do to make sure our travels are done as safely as possible.

If you are planning on traveling, make sure you check two items before leaving your home. First, has there been recent fire activity in the area you are planning to travel, and second, is there any predicted rainfall.

By checking these prior to travelling, you can avoid the dangers of possibly being involved in a flashflood.  Remember, the rain doesn’t’ always have to be directly at the place you are located.  It can be raining somewhere away from you and the water can travel to your location.

If you come across an area of the road that has had barricades put up, don’t drive around them.  Find an alternative route.  If you do come across water on the roadway never drive through an area that is flooding.  It only takes 6 inches of water to reach the bottom of most passenger vehicles which can cause loss of control and possible stalling of your vehicle.  Twelve inches of water will float most vehicles, and 2 feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles which includes SUV’s and pickups.

Along with the water there is often debris mixed in it which can include boulders, trees, and sometimes even remains of building structures which can push your vehicle into even further danger.

If there is extremely high, fast-moving water going under a bridge, consider finding another route.  The water can have debris and may suddenly surge over the bridge.  Depending on the bridge condition and the amount of debris against the bridge, it could crumble under the extreme pressure it is enduring.

If your vehicle is swept away try to remain in your vehicle.  Unless water is rising in your vehicle that could be life-threatening, it is safer inside until rescue personnel arrive.

It always comes down to trying not to press your luck and always take the safest route.  Do this and you will always be better for it in the end.


As always, safe travels!

Master Trooper

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