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Be Prepared for High Water in Ditches and Creeks

May-September is peak season for flooding

Post Date:05/25/2018 1:00 pm
The peak season for creek flooding and flash floods in Longmont and surrounding areas runs from May through September. During this time, City of Longmont staff watch conditions in the area with a keen eye. Additional monitoring is mobilized through the Creek Watch program if predetermined flood triggers are met.

Fortunately, there is no reason for concern at the moment. Nevertheless, recent rainy weather provides a good opportunity to remind residents about the dangers of flooding and the importance of being prepared.

In addition to the creeks that flow through the community--Left Hand and St. Vrain Creeks, Dry Creek No. 1, and Spring Gulches No. 1 and No. 2--the city is home to several ditches used for irrigation and filling reservoirs and lakes around Longmont. Water levels and flow rates in these ditches can fluctuate from day to day. Residents are asked to be aware of conditions and to be especially cautious with children and pets near the ditches. High, fast-flowing water can lead to injury or drowning in a matter of moments.

Pedestrian underpasses along the City’s greenway trails have been designed to also serve storm drainage functions, including handling overflow from creeks and ditches. Periodic closures due to high water associated with spring runoff or flash floods are a normal part of the greenway function. Known underpass closures can be viewed at LongmontColorado.gov/trail-status. For public safety, it is important not to enter any underpass where the gates are closed or standing water is visible.

There are many variables that can interact to cause flooding in Longmont. There is no way to predict how or when the next flood will occur, and flooding will not happen the same way in the future as it did in 2013. Residents are advised to keep an eye on conditions and listen to weather warnings from the National Weather Service. Additionally, location-specific weather alerts are available as part of the Everbridge emergency notification system used by the City of Longmont. Learn more about Everbridge alerts >

Remember, never enter flowing water during flood events. Instead, climb to safety and keep a close eye on your surroundings. Most flood deaths occur when people do not respect the power of flowing water.

Visit LongmontColorado.gov/flood-info for information on flood preparedness. There, you can view live web cameras, monitor creek and ditch conditions, learn about the risk of flooding is on your property, find ways to be prepared, and, most importantly, find ways to stay informed.

The City’s Office of Emergency Management also delivers emergency preparedness presentations to civic organizations and groups. To schedule a presentation, call 303-651-8438 or email oem@longmontcolorado.gov.

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