Jul 13, 2013 5:37 PM by Eric Ross

What to do if you find yourself trapped in flood waters

A car swept up by flood waters off Siferd and Austin Bluffs earlier this month has many people thinking twice about testing the power of mother nature.

"I came up to the intersection and saw the car and the water was up to the window," witness Steven Pope said.

Just last week, aerial video of a massive mudslide along Highway 24 made national news. About a dozen cars were stuck and many of the motorists ended up having to be rescued by the fire department.

"The mud and debris was coming down within a split second and two seconds later we were already being washed back," Christine Hensley said.

It's an unfortunate situation nobody wants to encounter, but if you did, would you know what to do?

"Stay in your vehicle and don't try to get out," firefighter David Cates said. "Keep the windows up and try to call 9-1-1 from inside. Also, give a good location of where you're at to our dispatchers."

Specially trained members with the Colorado Springs Fire Department are ready 24-7 for water and mud rescues. In the case of the water rescue on Austin Bluffs, first responders arrived on scene and were able to save the two women inside within a matter of minutes. Had the two tried to escape the rushing water on their own, they could have been seriously injured because of the current flow.

"The biggest issue that we are seeing is people not understanding the full strength of rushing water," Cates said.

In fact, firefighters say it only takes roughly 6 inches of water to move your vehicle.

Below are some tips provided by CSFD to help you stay safe:

*Pay attention to road signs warning of high waters and flooding.
*If you find yourself in flood waters, remain calm and don't panic.
*Dial 9-1-1 immediately and give dispatchers an accurate location of where you are. Not all cell phone companies have precise GPS signal reliability.
*Do not leave your car. Wait for assistance to arrive.
*Trying to escape through a window or sunroof could be deadly. Once the water disables your electrical system, there is no way to prevent the water from rushing into your car.



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