Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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AS WE SAW LAST SEPTEMBER...FLOODING CAN BE A MAJOR PROBLEM IN
COLORADO.

THE FLASH FLOODING IN SEPTEMBER DAMAGED A NUMBER OF CREEKS...AND
THERE IS MITIGATION ONGOING TO REMOVE DEBRIS AND SHORE UP HEAVILY
DAMAGED AREAS ALONG THE CREEKS IN AND NEAR THE FOOTHILLS FROM
LARIMER COUNTY TO EL PASO COUNTY. THE SNOWPACK IN THE SOUTH PLATTE
BASIN IS ABOVE NORMAL SO THERE IS CONCERN WHEN THE MELT OCCURS THAT
CREEKS AND RIVERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE A FAST MELT. THE RATE AT
WHICH RUNOFF OCCURS IS DEPENDENT ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS INCLUDING
THE DEPTH OF THE SNOW...HOW FAST HOT TEMPERATURES DEVELOP...AND
WHETHER THUNDERSTORMS DROP HEAVY RAIN ON THE SNOWPACK WITH RUNOFF
COMBINING WITH FALLING RAIN. IN 2011 WE HAD A SIMILAR HIGH SNOWPACK
WITH MINIMAL FLOOD ISSUES AS THE WARM DAYS AND COOL NIGHTS MODERATED
WITH RATE OF THE MELTING SNOW. PEAK SNOWMELT SEASON IS USUALLY IN
LATE MAY AND EARLY JUNE.

IN SEPTEMBER OVER 8 INCHES OF RAIN FELL OVER A LARGE AREA OF THE
FOOTHILLS FROM NORTHERN LARIMER TO NORTHERN EL PASO COUNTIES. ALL
THIS RAIN FILLED AREA CREEKS AND RIVERS...CAUSING CONSIDERABLE FLASH
FLOODING.

RUNOFF FROM AREA STREAMS COMBINED TO CAUSE MAJOR FLOODING ALONG THE
SOUTH PLATTE RIVER.

FLASH FLOODING REFERS TO A DANGEROUS SUDDEN RISE IN WATER ALONG A
CREEK...RIVER...OR OVER A NORMALLY DRY LAND AREA. FLASH FLOODS
RESULT FROM HEAVY RAINFALL...SUDDEN BREAKS IN RIVER ICE JAMS...AND
DAM OR LEVEE FAILURES. FLASH FLOODS CAN OCCUR WITHIN A FEW MINUTES
OR HOURS...AND CAN MOVE AT SURPRISINGLY HIGH SPEEDS...STRIKING WITH
LITTLE WARNING. FLASH FLOODS ARE QUITE DESTRUCTIVE BECAUSE OF THE
FORCE OF THE MOVING WATER...AND THE DEBRIS THAT ACCUMULATES IN FLOOD
WATERS...SUCH AS TREES AND BOULDER...WHICH CAN DESTROY
ROADWAYS...BRIDGES AND BUILDINGS.

OTHER COMPLICATIONS IN COLORADO ARE RECENT FIRES WHICH RAISE THE
FLOOD THREAT WHEN LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN FALLS ON RECENTLY BURN SCARS.
RESIDENTS IN AND NEAR BURNED AREAS NEAR MANCOS, DEBEQUE OR IN THE
FRONT RANGE FOOTHILLS FROM LARIMER COUNTY TO EL PASO COUNTY SHOULD
PLAN AHEAD ON RESPONSE ACTIONS FOR FLOODING.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL DISCUSS FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD
POTENTIAL IN DAILY HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOKS AND IN THE WEATHER
STORY ON NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEBSITES. ON DAYS WITH A HIGH RISK
FOR FLOODING YOU MAY HEAR...

A FLASH FLOOD OR FLOOD WATCH...WHICH MEANS THAT FLASH FLOODING OR
FLOODING IS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.

A FLOOD WARNING...WHICH MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR HAS BEEN
REPORTED ALONG A RIVER.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING...WHICH MEANS THAT FLASH FLOODING HAS BEEN
REPORTED OR IS IMMINENT. WHEN A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED FOR
YOUR AREA...ACT QUICKLY. IF ADVISED TO EVACUATE...DO SO IMMEDIATELY.
GO TO HIGHER GROUND OR CLIMB TO SAFETY BEFORE ACCESS IS CUT OFF BY
FLOOD WATERS.

AN URBAN FLOOD ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED FOR IMPACT FLOODING THAT IS
NOT IN ITSELF LIFE THREATENING. IN AN URBAN AREA IF YOU WERE
COMMUTING DURING RUSH HOUR DURING A FLOOD ADVISORY...YOU COULD
EXPECT SOME INTERSECTIONS TO BE UNDERWATER AND A MUCH LONGER
COMMUTE. A SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY MIGHT BE ISSUED WHEN FLOW IS
BANK FULL WITH MINOR LOWLAND FLOODING ALONG THE STREAM.

NEARLY HALF OF ALL FLASH FLOOD FATALITIES ARE VEHICLE RELATED. DO
NOT ENTER A FLOODED ROADWAY...INSTEAD TURN AROUND...DO NOT DROWN.
IN RAPIDLY RISING WATERS...BACKING UP AWAY FROM WATER MAY BE SAFER.
ONE TO TWO FEET OF WATER WILL CARRY AWAY MOST VEHICLES AND YOU ALSO
CANNOT TELL IF THE ROAD IS DAMAGED BENEATH THE WATER.

COLORADO SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK CONTINUES THROUGH THIS SATURDAY.



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