Western Slope weather preparedness

Local News

MESA COUNTY, Colo.

Fire restrictions have eased in Mesa County, but there still lurks another threat of danger from the terrain and mother nature. Megan Terclecky with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office says, “Normally, we’re talking about fire danger and fire risk, but we also want the community to know that we have some flash flood risk out in our wilderness areas right now, and that can be just as dangerous.”

You can prevent forest fires, but you can’t stop a flood. What you can do is be prepared. “Check the weather,” said Terlecky. Chief Meteorologist, Russ Pappas, with KREX 5 News says, “Two thirds of the state’s under a flash flood watch, and then we get very specific with flash flood warnings, and flash flood advisories. Advisories and warnings are imminent, ongoing-flooding situations that can have damaging affects to lives and property.”

Terlecky says, “Make sure you get alerts.” “You need to pay attention to all your social media outlets, particularly ours because we’re constantly going to be updating that hazardous weather message and we can deliver it outside of broadcast time,” said Pappas.

“Pay attention to what areas you’re recreating. We have a lot of trails that are dry creek beds, that are narrow canyons. These areas are very susceptible to flash flooding and can be very dangerous, very quickly,” said Terlecky.

But, if you are caught in a tough situation, there are simple steps that will save your life, and Terlecky has the tips. “If you ever get caught where there is flash floods. The best advice we can give is to get to high ground immediately. Watch for potential falling rocks around you, and never try to cross the water. Whether it’s by walking through it or driving through it.”

Also, plan to recreate in the morning, dress for the weather, bring extra food and water and finally, if you need help call 911.

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