The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is warning drivers to plan for heavy rains, especially in the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges.
Drivers are advised to check the latest weather forecasts and road conditions before traveling. Heavy monsoonal rains and summer storms can lead to challenging driving conditions. Colorado highways, particularly those in mountainous areas, can be vulnerable to the impacts of weather and natural emergencies. Some roadways have already experienced incidents of flash flooding, mudslides and rock falls over the past few weeks.
CDOT provides the following advice:
- Never drive through any flooded area, you do not know how deep or how fast the water is running.
- Even 8-10 inches of water can float an average-sized car, which can be easily swept off the road.
- Driving too fast on wet roads or in flooded areas can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Never use your cruise control during rainy conditions with standing water on the roadway.
- Any amount of flooding or mud can obstruct the roadway and hinder drivers from knowing exactly where to drive. If you cannot see the roadway, be smart and wait for the water to subside.
- Water and mud can contain unknown hazards hidden under the surface – rocks or other debris, like plant material and tree branches.
CDOT also urges drivers to be prepared by carrying an emergency kit in their vehicle. At a minimum the kit should contain: water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket.
Travelers are encouraged to “know before you go” by checking weather forecasts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include: