Colorado Springs firefighters urge safety near water amid thunderstorm season

Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 6:20 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - As thunderstorm season continues and summer approaches, Colorado Springs firefighters say it’s the time of year that they usually receive the most calls for water rescues.

Firefighters with CSFD said that so far in 2023, they’ve performed three swift water rescues, one of which resulted in a death. That rescue occurred in Douglas and Monument Creeks, and firefighters said the areas around these creeks and others in town can be extremely dangerous when storm season rolls around.

“It comes down pretty quick,” CSFD’s Jay Morrison said of the water in these creeks, “especially around here just with the wildland fires and all the different stuff that happened, it creates a very swift amount of water that comes through these creek beds very quickly.”

Morrison said Fountain, Monument and Sand Creeks are where they tend to see the most incidents requiring rescues. He also said Douglas Creek can become a problem when it floods because water can cover the walkways around it.

Morrison added that even if it’s not actively raining in Colorado Springs, storms to the north can push the water down and cause just as many issues.

“If there’s a storm up north in Monument or north of North Colorado Springs, all that water is gonna run south anyway,” Morrison said, “and so if you’re in the southern area where the dry creek bed is just a place to play, that’s one thing that’ll happen.”

His advice? Stay clear of the creek beds, even when they’re dry, but if you’re going to be near the creek, stay vigilant.

“Obviously, you can look up in the sky, if it’s blue above you but dark maybe up north, and you can kind of see the rain, just maybe put that in the back of your head saying, ‘Hey, this can rise.’”