Tips for traveling the high country during heavy summer storms
As the season for monsoonal rains and heavy summer storms begins, the Colorado Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to be prepared for potential hazards and challenges on roads, including places prone to flooding, mudslides and falling rocks.
Drivers are also encouraged to be prepared for both heavy rain conditions on roads as well as closures.
“Heavy monsoonal rains and summer storms can lead to challenging driving conditions,” reads a CDOT news alert. “Colorado highways, particularly those in mountainous areas, can be vulnerable to the impacts of weather and natural emergencies. Some roadways have already experienced incidents of flash flooding, mudslides and rock falls over the past few weeks.”
CDOT’s tips and recommendations for navigating flooded roadways include:
- Never drive through any flooded area, you might not know how deep or how fast the water is running
- Driving too fast on wet roads or in flooded areas can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Never use your cruise control during rainy conditions with standing water on the roadway
- Any amount of flooding or mud can obstruct the roadway and hinder drivers. If you cannot see the roadway, be smart and wait for the water to subside.
- Water and mud can contain unknown hazards hidden under the surface, such as rocks, tree branches or other objects.
The Interstate 70 mountain corridor includes sections that curve through narrow canyons. In March, Glenwood Canyon closed for the first time this year for rock fall mitigation.
“When drivers set out on a trip, especially through high country roads or the I-70 mountain corridor, it would be wise to have the car supplied with an emergency kit,” the CDOT announcement says.
Just like when traveling during the winter.