Storms causing rivers and creeks to run fast this time of year


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — This time of year, it’s not unusual to see thunderstorms in the afternoon.

So far in the month of July, we’ve seen 18 days of rain, which is causing a lot of problems around the area, including flash flooding.

Flash flooding is the most common natural hazard in Colorado Springs. It’s normally caused by storms in the mountains and that water coming downstream.

Runoff from the mountains can quickly cause the water levels of creeks and rivers to rise to unsafe levels.

“The ground is very saturated,” said FOX21 Chief Meteorologist Justin Chambers.

Several weeks of heavy rains around the area are starting to take a toll on rivers and creeks.

“That water has nowhere to go into the ground, so it’s just going to keep running off, and that’s what contributes to a lot of the flash flooding that we see,” said Chambers.

Chambers said it doesn’t have to be days of rain that can cause problems.

“When these storms come in and dump all that rain in that short period of time, that’s when we could have some problems,” Chambers said.

Colorado Springs firefighters say those flash floods can cause the most problems.

“Water can sweep us off our feet in about an inch of water and start to move vehicles in about three inches of water,” said Lt. Eric Riker with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Riker said a river can start to flow over its banks in just a matter of seconds.

“Thirty to 60 seconds the banks of that river can actually gain feet of actual elevation in there,” Riker said.

Riker said staying safe is simple.

“If you realize that it is raining, please exit it, get up to higher ground and stay safe,” said Riker.

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