Article and photos by Steve Baska
A bystander wades past Laura Herrmann’s car stranded on Monarch Boulevard while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
Hard rain that caused deep pooling in a low spot on Monarch Boulevard last month stalled cars there on two successive nights and caused Castle Pines officials to examine how to fix the drainage problem.
Sudden downpours occurred on Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12 trapping drivers in their cars when they tried to drive through the deep flowing water on Monarch, about two blocks north of Castle Pines Parkway. Police closed the road temporarily while the drivers got out to safety.
Laura Herrmann, who just graduated from Rock Canyon High School, was in her Volvo on July 12 and following other cars through water when her car motor suddenly stopped. “I called 911 and told them I was in water and they said they would send two officers and tow the car out,” she said. “I told them there was three inches of water in the back seat and one inch under the front seat, and the dispatcher said if it gets to your seat level to climb onto the roof. When the police got there, they put a lifevest on me and took my Yorkie dog out of the car and we walked out of the water, which was just below my hip, and I’m five-foot-eight. It turned out that my car was electrically fried and they had to tow it out after the water level went down.”
Castle Pines City Manager Don Van Wormer said he and an engineer examined the low spot after the two drivers’ incidents and will come up with a solution. “We have a couple of ideas and we will take remedial action,” he said. “The current storm drains in that area are not able to handle the runoff. We don’t know exactly the solution yet, but we are looking at options.”
Becky O’Guin, public information officer for South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, urged drivers not to drive into deep water. “Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Don’t drive or walk into six inches of moving water.”
Water can damage a car's engine and electrical system. If your car has been in water more than halfway up its wheels, do not attempt to start the car because it can do more damage, experts say.
For more information about driving in inclement conditions, visit http://www.progressive.com/vehicle-resources/flood-safety/.
South Metro Fire Rescue Authority emergency vehicles standby asLaura Herrmann’s car stands in deep water on Monarch.