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Flash Floods Kill At Least 2 in Colorado

6:47 AM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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A viewer contributed image shows flood waters high enough to almost reach the underside of an overpass (via 9news.com)

By Robert Garrison, KUSA/9 News Denver

A flash flood emergency in Colorado killed at least two people, prompted evacuations and closed several roads. Roads in Boulder County are not passable at this time. Multiple rescues are underway.


The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said that Meadow Lake Dam has broken near Colo. Rt. 47. They report extrication operations are underway. 

This flooding would impact locations along Colo. Rt. 47 and then downstream to near Pinewood Springs.

The area is sparsely populated.

VICTIMS

A collapsed home in Nederland killed one person. Colorado Springs Fire Department completed a body recovery at South Nevada and Interstate-25 due to the flooding around 5:30 a.m. Neither person has been identified as of yet.

EVACUATIONS

An evacuation notice has been issued for Jamestown in Boulder County. Boulder County officials say multiple homes in the Jamestown and Nederland area have collapsed.

A rockslide in the area prohibited crews from getting to the deceased or any other homes in the area.

Evacuation orders were issued for Four Mile Canyon. The Boulder Office Emergency Management said residents in that area should move to higher ground immediately.

Officials recommended that residents take Poorman Road to higher ground. Those living west of Ingram Gulch should take Gold Run to Gold Hill to get out of harm's way.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management said residents in low-lying, central Boulder may be at greater risk and should evacuate if residents do not feel comfortable.

The American Red Cross is staffing a shelter at the YMCA of Boulder Valley at 2850 Mapleton Ave. in Boulder for residents affected by current flooding or risk of flooding.

The shelter will remain open with cots, blankets and other basic necessities - such as food and water - until the necessity has passed.

More than 200 people have been evacuated to Lyons Elementary School.

The evacuation center in Manitou Springs closed around 5 a.m. after being available for those affected by the flooding.

CU-BOULDER CLOSED THURSDAY

Some areas of the University of Colorado-Boulder campus were evacuated to Athens North, a residence hall. CU Police say between 100 and 200 people were evacuated from family housing near Boulder Creek as a precaution.

CU issued an alert to its students to stay inside because of the flooding.

CU is reporting damage to some buildings on campus, but all appear to be structurally sound. All classes at CU-Boulder are canceled Thursday. 

FLOODING IN BOULDER

Boulder County Sheriff's Office confirmed to 9NEWS that a "wall of water" came down Left Hand Canyon Thursday morning and trapped a firefighter in a nearby tree. Emergency crews are currently trying to rescue the firefighter.

Street flooding took over Boulder at 17th and 18th on the Hill, Baseline and Foothills, 9th and Alpine and Manhattan and Baseline.

Residents in Boulder's University Hill reported flooding in house basements.

Water has flooded the intersection of Arapahoe and East County Line in Erie. The Boulder Office of Emergency Management is reporting three-feet of water in the area.

Several creeks in Boulder County have flooded, including Left Hand Creek, Four Mile Creek, Coal Creek Creek and Saint Vrain Creek, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Boulder Creek is running 10 times its normal rate but remains in its banks. Sirens are going off near the creek to warn people to stay away.

Up to 3.5 inches of rain has already fallen. Flash flooding is also occurring in the Erie, Lafayette and Niwot areas.

Flash flooding is expected to become more widespread as heavy rain continues into Thursday morning.

Authorities are asking motorists to stay off the roads. Xcel Energy is reporting more than 1,800 Boulder-area customers are without power.

Boulder County Government buildings will be closed on Thursday as a result of the severe flooding.

U.S. 36 was closed for hours early Thursday but was reopened around 4:30 a.m.

LARIMER COUNTY

The storm caused road closures, washouts and damage throughout the High Park burn area.

Emergency notifications have been sent to 400 contacts in the Big Elk Meadow, Pine Springs and Blue Mountain area after Meadow Lake Dam broke, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

Highway 14 from Ted's Place to Walden was closed overnight due to mudslides according to Larimer County Sheriff's Office. Rist Canyon and Redstone Canyon were closed just after midnight.

Heavy rains Wednesday evening triggered mudslides in Poudre Canyon. Just after 9 p.m., the Colorado Department of Transportation tweeted that Highway 14 would be closed overnight. Power in Poudre Park went out at midnight.

Just before 1 a.m., Thursday, the National Weather Service extended the Flash Flood Warning for Larimer, including the Poudre Canyon area, until 4:30 a.m. That warning was extended for southwestern Larimer County until 7:15 a.m.

According to the sheriff's office's tweets, CDOT will evaluate the road Thursday morning and make a decision on reopening. The sheriff's office also reports that Owl Canyon Road from County Road 19 to Highway 287 is closed until further notice.


 

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