Website launched to watch flood conditions
PITKIN COUNTY, Colorado – Pitkin County launched a new website to help locals understand and keep track of spring runoff, calling it a “one-stop shop” for flood preparedness.
With the Roaring Fork Watershed at 315 percent of average, according to the Roaring Fork Conservancy, most emergency groups are preparing for rivers to overflow area banks.
“Because the snowpack is so high this spring we have been getting a lot of inquiries from people who live near rivers and creeks about how to prepare,” said Pitkin’s Public Information Officer Pat Bingham.
The website is located on the Aspen/Pitkin county website homepage at http://www.aspenpitkin.com. Click on “Be Flood Safe” under the “Community” tab.
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The webpage information emphasizes the importance of signing up for Pitkin Alert at http://www.pitkinalert.org. Pitkin Alert is “a free community notification system that allows officials to immediately contact members during a major crisis or emergency that delivers important emergency alerts, notifications, and updates to wireless devices, including cell phones and email accounts.”
The IMT is relying on newspapers and radio stations to communicate any flood-related breaking news that occurs.
“We’ve met with the residents of the two mobile home parks in Basalt that are most likely to flood if the rivers rise quickly,” said Incident Commander Stewart Curry. “The residents are mostly Latino and we’ve communicated to them how important it is for them to prepare for flooding and not count on others to do that for them. We’ve been emphasizing how important it is for people to line up a place to go should they be forced to evacuate their homes temporarily,” Curry said.
Pitkin County and Basalt Public Works Departments have dropped sand and sandbags at the Lazy Glen mobile home page and at both low-lying parks in Basalt – the Pan and Fork and Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park. Sand and sandbags have also been dropped at Elk Park in Redstone.
“We hope only residents who really feel there could be a direct threat to their homes in these areas will avail themselves of the sand and sandbags we provide. Others should purchase sand and sandbags from outlets online or at local hardware stores,” Curry said.
The goal of the combined flood management effort is to help citizens help themselves. In the event of flooding emergencies, the priority of rescue personnel will be to respond to health and life safety issues. Residents in low-lying areas that are able are expected to prepare themselves and their property for the advent of flooding.
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