Rain Rain Go Away!
It is important to remember that floods caused by rain can occur anywhere, with floodwaters rising gradually or flash floods striking suddenly. Water's powerful force can easily overtake vehicles and people.
Safety tips for driving in heavy rain:
- If you must drive in the rain, drive slowly and steadily. Pull over and stop if it is raining so hard that you cannot see.
- DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODWATERS!
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
- One foot of water will float most vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles — including SUVs and pick-ups.
- Stay away from water that electrical or power lines have fallen into; electric current passes through water easily.
- Stay off your cell phone unless you must report severe injuries or call for help.
Safety tips for walking or cycling on urban trails:
- When rain is falling, it’s best not to walk or bike near a river or stream, even on Denver’s paved urban bike and walking trails; water flow can quickly increase and flooding can occur without notice.
- Move to higher ground and never go into a culvert! If you are on a streamside trail during a rainstorm use the alternate trail up to street level to avoid underpasses and culverts.
- NEVER take shelter in a culvert, under a bridge, or in an enclosed space, especially in low elevations by rivers and streams. Always go to higher ground out of the flow of water.
- Do not walk or bike through moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.
- If lightning is present, do not stand under or near an isolated tree or group of trees.
- Never allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains or flooded areas.
Localized street flooding:
- In underpasses and some areas that are geographical low-points, water cannot be expected to disappear down the storm inlets instantly; the pace and volume of the rainfall may be too quick and too great to immediately drain off. It takes time for the system to accommodate the rainfall.
- If you know that your street tends to flood because it is located in a low point, be sure to move your vehicles to higher ground whenever rain is forecast.
Flooded buildings and basements:
Residents with flooded basements or buildings are advised to contact their insurance companies immediately to find out what cleanup and repair work is covered. Other recommended steps include:
- Turn off the electricity at your building even if the electric company has turned off the main supply line or power is out. Primary power may be restored when you are not ready.
- Take pictures/videos and thoroughly document damages, cleanup, and repairs.
- Open windows and ventilate well.
- LOOK BEFORE YOU STEP: Floors and stairs can be covered with slippery mud and/or covered with hazardous debris.