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High water levels can be dangerous for boaters, drivers, children and pets
Contact: Erin Opsahl, Summit County Sheriff's Office, 970-423-8901
SUMMIT COUNTY, CO – With local river flows at or near their peak, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents and visitors to be mindful of high water levels throughout the area. Waterways in and around Summit County can be dangerous this time of year, during the spring runoff.“Our snowpack is a little below average,” stated Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons. “However, our rivers and streams are still running fast and cold, so we need to treat them with the appropriate level of respect and caution.”When participating in outdoor activities on or near the water this spring, the Sheriff's Office urges people to be cautious of fast currents caused by elevated flows. It’s especially dangerous for children and pets playing along the shores of fast-moving water, as they can easily slip on wet, muddy banks and be swept away.The Sheriff’s Office strongly discourages people from any recreational activities in the water without proper training, experience and equipment."Summit County rivers can look tempting on warm, sunny days, but they have a strong current and flow. In the past, our rescue team has responded to individuals taking inflatable pool toys down one of our local streams, who then ended up stranded in the river. Enjoy the recreation that Summit County offers, but please use the appropriate level of safety,” FitzSimons stated.Currents are likely to be especially strong during extended periods of warm, sunny weather and during prolonged rain events. Flows in some stretches are also influenced by the release of water from dams. Summit County’s rivers and streams typically experience peak flows during late May through mid-June. For detailed, real-time information on local stream flows, see the Summit County Swift-Water Safety and Flood Preparedness Guide (www.SummitCountyCO.gov/flood), which contains links to data from key stream gauges throughout Summit County.As a reminder, register for Summit County Alert to receive public information and emergency messages. Sign up at scalert.org.The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Summit County Office of Emergency Management recommend the following guidelines to stay safe around high water: