Overnight the heavy rains impacted the citizens on both ends of Pueblo County. Hardest hit were the citizens east of Pueblo where downed power lines and flooded roads were seen throughout. Flash flooding in Avondale and Boone stranded motorist and created the need for more than one rescue by first responders.
Just before 2am the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Rural Fire Department, and Boone Fire Department responded to the 4100 block of 44th Lane after a frightened 11-year-old girl called and said her family was living in a camp trailer that was flooding with water. The home was occupied by a man, his wife, and three children. When rescuers arrived the trailer was surrounded by two feet of rushing water and the five were on the roof. ACOVA provided the children, all under 13, with clothes and toiletries. The adults were muddied and wet as well so two PCSO deputies went to their own homes to find suitable clothing and gave it to the mother and father.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor commented, “Responders didn’t hesitate, they were waist deep in water to get to this family.” Sheriff Taylor also recognized the efforts of the two deputies that weren’t even on scene but knew the family needed help. “Deputies Bethany Pettinari and Christine Guerin acted quickly and with big hearts. They heard the call on the radio and provided the parents with fresh clothing from their own closets. These deputies demonstrated attentiveness and compassion. They are a perfect illustration of the PCSO Service over Self motto.”
The events of last night give emergency officials another chance to remind citizen’s to be careful in standing and flowing water. Motorist during recent rain storms have been stranded because they hit standing water at high speeds and their vehicles stall, sometimes in the lanes of traffic. Last night, one vehicle was traveling too quickly and hydroplaned in 6 inches of moving flood waters. The driver made it safely out of his truck but it came to rest in a ditch and was covered to the roof by water. PCSO Emergency Services Bureau Chief Mark Mears knows the darkness of night was a factor, “The rural communities don’t have street lights that show motorists what they are heading into. Many of the roads that are flooding during these storms are routes people frequently travel without worry.” Mears warns, “When the rain is heavy and you are hearing radio reports of flash floods, heed those warnings no matter how well you think you know that road. Go slow, pay closer attention, or maybe avoid the area entirely.”
Some areas in western Pueblo County did report minor flooding in roadways and heavy rain and lightning. The moisture was beneficial to the towns of Beulah, Rye, and Colorado City because they are most likely of all the Pueblo County communities to be significantly impacted by a wildland fire and all three rely heavily on rains for their water supply.