Jul 7, 2014 8:47 PM by Bill Folsom
"It was loud," said Manitou Springs visitor, Linda Savage. The town's police department tested the emergency flashflood notification siren at noon on Tuesday.
The likelihood of flashfloods increases in Colorado from mid July up to September. The siren is an important warning system, but it is only one element of a multilayer preparedness plan. A reason for this is locals know what the siren indicates, while some visitors to the tourist town may not know what it means. Savage said she heard the drill and since she grew up in the Midwest thought it was a tornado warning. After she learned it was a flashflood warning she was not certain about how to proceed if it was real. "Well if it were a flood warning I would know to move away from the creek," said Savage, "but I don't know where I would go. Higher ground would be where from here?"
Emergency managers in Manitou are aware of the issue. Informational signs are posted around town. Workers in local businesses also know to direct visitors to higher ground if there is a flashflood warning.