Live Flood Blog: Major Lyons, Jeffco evacuations; Big Thompson swallowing I-25
DENVER — Deadly flooding was taking place in across the Front Range and in metro Denver Friday morning.
Rainfall totals hit 12″ in 24 hours in places including Aurora and Boulder County. Evacuations were in effect in many locations.
More than 50 school districts closed Friday. See the full list here.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said evacuations were ordered in the Big Thompson, Poudre and Rist canyons. He said the water flow was higher and faster in the Big Thompson than during the devastating flood of July 31-August 1, 1976.
Officials have confirmed that three people have been killed due to flooding, two in Boulder County and another in Colorado Springs. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in some areas, and lengthy flash flood warnings and watches were also put in place.
The severe weather Friday will be constantly changing. For the latest, follow along with the real-time updates below.
We have not confirmed that report about the potential Lyons evacuation from CNN’s Kelly Smoot. We are working to get that confirmation as this is typed.
In addition to the tweet below, our weather tracker Daryl Orr says that the two cars seen in the photo, along with an additional three cars, are being left stranded in the area because of the instability of those roads.
As of 4 a.m., the
City of Longmont is making a requested evacuation for the subdivisions
south of Quail Road and East of Main Street. Residents are being asked to
evacuate to Niwot High School.
Because the highways and primary streets are closed in the
Boulder and Longmont area, RTD will be unable to provide service on the bus routes listed below on Friday morning. Updates will be available on the transportation agency’s website and their Twitter account throughout the day.
Route L (All)
· Route Y and YL
See the long list of school closures for today here
The City of Longmont would like residents and businesses to know that the only road now into Longmont is at I-25 and Hwy 66 to Main Street. New road closures include:
Ken Pratt in both directions between E. 3rd Avenue and South Main Street. This road is open for emergency vehicles
South Hover Road between Pike and Plateau
South Main Street from Missouri to Plateau
Any North/South travel in Longmont is cut off by the river.
City of Fort Collins urges people in Andersonville, Alta Vista and Buckingham neighborhoods to evacuate. A shelter is open at Timberline Church.
Daily Camera reports officials plan to reopen U.S. 36 into Boulder, but cars will have to exit at foothills because of ‘lake’ at Table Mesa. More traffic info here.
Follow the link to see a map of road closures in Boulder County Friday morning. The map might take a few moments to load.
From Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith:
We are getting word of bridge losses in southern Larimer County crossing Little Thompson River. Most recent info is bridges out at County Rd 21 and County Rd 4 as well as the bridge on County Rd 17 between County Rd 2E and County Rd 4E.
Larimer County Sheriff says all bridges over the Poudre River in Fort Collins were closed Friday morning. People in Poudre Canyon and Rist Canyon also told to evacuate.
Sheriff Justin Smith says, “We’re totally in the blind in those areas” due to lack of access and communications being out.
Larimer County Sheriff says water flow in the Big Thompson Canyon was higher Friday morning than in the devastating flood of July 31-August 1, 1976. Situation in canyon unknown since emergency responders can’t get into the canyon. People in the canyon were warned earlier Thursday to evacuate.
From the National Weather Service:
AT 1236 AM MDT…EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REPORTED SEVERE FLASH
FLOODING CONTINUING IN BIG THOMPSON CANYON AND THE CITY OF
LOVELAND. FLOODING WAS ALSO OCCURRING ON THE LITTLE
THOMPSON RIVER AND IN SMALLER DRAINAGES IN SOUTHEASTERN
THIS IS A FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY FOR THE BIG THOMPSON CANYON AND LOVELAND. SEEK HIGHER GROUND NOW! THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION!
Boulder spokeswoman says surge into Boulder Creek flattened to seven feet by the time it arrived. Flow in Boulder Creek was actually dropping at 1:00 a.m. Friday.
City of Lakewood opens its emergency call center to take calls from residents who need help or who have questions. 303-987-5412
Residents along the Poudre River corridor from Stove Prairie to the Larimer /Weld County line are advised to monitor water conditions as the river is expected to reach moderate flood stage during early morning hours on Friday.
Larimer County Emergency Management recommends you take measures to evacuate or be prepared to move to high ground. At this time traffic can move east from Poudre Park. There is a shelter at Timberline Church in Fort Collins.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning effective until 12:30 AM Friday for El Paso County.
Erie Police are closing County Line Road at South Main (just north of Highway 7) due to flooding. Police are also responding to a single vehicle accident in that area.
CLOSED: Westbound I-70 at Beaver Brook (MM 248) due to flooding and multiple rockslides in the area
City of Lakewood has sent a pre-evacuation notice through Code Red to residents along Lena Gulch from Youngfield Street east to the city border. Be ready to leave!
Per City of Longmont: Based on the notice that there is a Declaration of Emergency in the City of Longmont, the City is enacting a curfew from 10 pm tonight until 6am tomorrow morning in flood zones and evaucation areas. We are formally requesting that citizens comply with this curfew and remain indoors during these hours. Maps of these areas are available on the City’s flood emergency webpage.
Evacuation center notes:
Colo Springs: Second evacuation center open at 1st Presbyterian Church – Weber St. Center. #loc 103 Weber St. Colorado Springs.
Arvada: Jeffco evacuation site is being moved to Arvada High School at 7951 W 65th Ave. in Arvada (near Wadsworth)
IRONDALE RESIDENTS: Evacuate now! A dam in Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge has reportedly failed and a large amount of water is expected to strike the Commerce City neighborhood within the hour, per Commerce City officials.
Per Red Cross: A list of Red Cross-operated shelters currently open:
o FORT COLLINS: Timberline Church, 2908 S. Timberline Road, Fort Collins (new since last update)
o DENVER/AURORA: EVIE DENNIS SCHOOL ,4800 Telluride Drive, Denver
o BOULDER: YMCA of Boulder Valley, 2850 Mapleton Ave., Boulder
o LONGMONT: St. Vrain Valley School District Mead High School , 12750 CR 7 Longmont.
o LOVELAND: Thompson School District Administration Building, 800 S Taft Ave., Loveland
o ERIE: Erie Community Center, 450 Powers St., Erie
o COMMERCE CITY: Adams CITY High School, 7200 Quebec Parkway, Commerce City.
o ESTES PARK: Mountain View Bible Fellowship Church, 1575 S Saint Vrain Ave., Estes Park.
o MANITOU SPRINGS: First Congregational Church, 103 Pawnee Ave., Manitou Springs
We recommend for residents and businesses in the low lying areas to evacuate or be prepared to shelter in place for several days.
— Larimer Sheriff (@LarimerSheriff) September 12, 2013
Per City of Longmont: The City of Longmont is opening a new evacuation center at the Niwot High School, 8989 E. Niwot Rd. They are closing the Silver Creek High School evacuation center. The evacuees at Silver Creek High will be moved to Niwot High School.
City of Aurora: Dispatch sent out a reverse 911 notification to residents in the area of Florida Ave, Peoria St, Moline St, and Jewell Ave to notify residents in the immediate area that Peoria St is closed in both directions between Mexico and Florida due to flooding. The current area affected is expected to expand as the night progresses.
Per City of Longmont: “The following city facilities will be closed Friday, Sept. 13: The Library, Senior Center, Museum, Youth Center, Park Maintenance Facility and the Callahan House. We are still asking residents to stay home and avoid the river areas. We do not anticipate opening any roads to north and south bound traffic at the rivers tonight.”
Per City of Boulder: Despite heavy rain and flooding in and around the City of Boulder, all city water, stormwater and wastewater facilities are fully operational and functioning within facility-specific capacities and regulations.
As a precaution, and for redundancy and backup purposes, the city is bringing the Boulder Reservoir Water Treatment Facility online for any issues that may occur while heavy rain and flooding continues. This change may cause a slight change in water taste for city customers in Gunbarrel, Heatherwood, Hoover Hills and areas north of Arapahoe Avenue and east of Foothills Parkway. No service interruptions are expected during the restart of the facility and the change in source waters.
ALERT: Peoria St in the area of Jewell & Florida is collapsing due to flooding. We are asking the public to stay off of Peoria.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) September 12, 2013
UPDATE: Alameda is CLOSED at Denver border. Havana is CLOSED at 1st to the North and at the 500 block South.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) September 12, 2013
The city of Longmont has ordered evacuations for the following locations:
— The Creekside neighborhood, near Plateau Road and Hover St, which is near Left hand creek.
— The Longmont Estate Greens and Champion Greens neighborhood, near 9th Ave and Airport Road.
— The Valley neighborhood, near Hayden Ct and 9th Ave
— Golden Ponds neighborhood near the south edges of Allen Dr. and Hover St.
These neighborhoods are near the St. Vrain River.
University of Colorado – Boulder closed Friday, September 13. Rain continues to fall Thursday afternoon and more storms are expected through Friday.
With the current weather conditions and the continuing possibility of flash flooding, the evacuations of the Faculty/Staff housing unit, Athens Court and the ground floor of Newton Court will remain in place. The evacuation has impacted 220 units and 355 family housing residents.
“With the weather conditions continuing to be unpredictable, we’re going to exercise caution and keep the current evacuation in place,” said Chancellor Philip DiStefano. “This will be revisited again on Friday as early as we can make a determination that the units are safe.”
CSPD identifies man killed in Colorado Springs flooding overnight as Danny Davis, 54.
The ramp from eastbound I-70 to Quebec Street in Denver is closed due to flood damage. It will be closed for several days according to spokeswoman Amy Ford.
United States Postal Service says mail delivery was limited or nonexistent to the following:
— Lyons 80540
— Estes Park 80517
— Jamestown 80534
— Franktown 80116
— Allenspark 80510
— Frederick 80530
— Nederland 80466
— Ward 80481
Mail for the Coal Creek Crescent Post Office, located up Highway 72, will be held at the Golden Post Office, located at 1100 Johnson Road in Golden.
Delivery for some addresses in Boulder, Longmont, and several other communities couldn’t be made.
If conditions prevent delivery on Friday, alternate locations for mail delivery will be established. Regular delivery will resume as soon as road conditions return to be safe and passible.
Thompson School District closed Friday, September 13
City of Thornton road closure information
• York Street: E470 to 156th at BDC
• 128th Avenue: Valentia to Riverdale at Brantner Gulch
• Riverdale Road: north of 128th @ Brantner Gulch (ADCO)
• 144th Avenue: Washington to York
• 100th Avenue: East of Farmington Subdivision/ Forest Circle to McKay
• McKay Road: 104th Avenue to 96th Avenue
• Riverdale: 112th south to McKay (ADCO) partial road wash out
• Colorado Blvd: 160th to 168th (ADCO) road washed out
• 156th Avenue: York to Colorado
• York Street south of 168th Avenue at Preble Creek (ADCO)
• 168th Avenue: Colorado to Holly at Big Dry Creek
• 104th Avenue at the South Platte River east of Thornton (CDOT)
USGS: Up to 8 inches of rain in the last 24 hours is causing widespread flooding in the foothills and urban corridor from Denver north to Fort Collins, and south to Colorado Springs.
Boulder Creek was flowing at more than double the previous all-time record Thursday afternoon. See real time flood information here
Per U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge will be closed today and Friday. A pond on the Refuge located north of 56th Avenue and east of Havana Street has exceeded its capacity and the dam of the pond is at risk of dangerous flooding.
Below is great video of the daring rescue of one of the three drivers who was stranded when Dillon Road collapsed just north of Broomfield this morning. All three drivers made it out alive with minor injuries.
Via Commerce City PD: MANDATORY EVACUATIONS in the following area: South Border: E. 64th Avenue, East Border: Holly Street, Northwest Border: State Highway 2.
Everyone in this area needs to leave now. Do not stay.
Residents MUST evacuate to Adams City High School, 7200 Quebec Parkway. Residents should head north to E. 72nd Avenue and east to Quebec Parkway.
This email was just sent to students at CU-Denver:
Due to an electrical failure at the CU-Denver Building,
located at 1250 14th Street in Downtown Denver, is being closed.
Tenants should be evacuated.
There will be no regular or emergency power. CU Facilities
and Xcel are actively investigating this issue and we will send updates as
information becomes available.
All parkers please move your cars out of the garage as soon
TRAFFIC: SB I-225 is down to one lane north of Mississippi Avenue due to flooding. Will be closing the interstate shortly.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) September 12, 2013
The National Weather Service has just updated its warning and watches list. The FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS list now reads as follows:
–Flash Flood Warning effective until 1:00 PM for the counties of
Boulder and El Paso counties — this means the warnings in the counties moved heavily impacted by the flooding has finally epxired
–Flash Flood Warning effective until 3:30 PM
for Larimer County
–Flash Flood Warning effective until 3:15 PM
for the counties of Adams, Arapahoe and Denver
The FLASH FLOOD WATCH LIST is effective until 6:00 AM Friday for the following counties…
Vicinity/Southern El Paso County/Rampart Range Below 7400 Ft
and East Douglas Counties Above 6000 Feet
–Jefferson and West Douglas Counties
Above 6000 Feet/Gilpin/Clear
Creek/Northeast Park County,
–Larimer County Below 6000 Feet/Northwest Weld
–Larimer and Boulder Counties Between 6000 and 9000 Feet,
County Below 6000 Feet/Denver/West Adams and Arapahoe Counties/East Broomfield
–Pueblo Vicinity/Pueblo County Below 6300 Feet
–Southern Sangre De Cristo
Mountains Between 7500 and 11000 Feet
–Teller County/Rampart Range above 7500
Ft/Pikes Peak Between 7500 And 11000 Feet
–Walsenburg Vicinity/Upper Huerfano
River Basin Below 7500 Ft in Colorado
Per Commerce City PD, evacuations are possible in the early afternoon for the following area:
· North Border: East 96th Avenue
· South Border: East 80th Avenue
· East Border: State Highway 2
· West Border: U.S. Highway 85
The possible evacuation is due to a dam located on the Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge that has exceeded its capacity. A half-mile wide sheet flow of water has the potential to travel into this area, crossing State Highway 2 and impacting the neighborhood of Irondale. While the majority of the area is industrial in nature, there are pockets of residential homes.
Aurora PD has released the following list of closures:
Colfax and Peoria
I-70 Southbound Exit onto I-225
26th and Fulton
17th and Dayton
E 12th and Yosemite
E 11th and Xenia
Del Mar and Havana
Alameda and Havana
Alameda between Sable and Chambers
Peoria and Tennessee
Hwy 265 Brighton Blvd closed near CO Blvd b/c flooding
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) September 12, 2013
The caption that goes with the Instagram photo below: “This
is normally a dry creek bed, just outside my neighborhood (North Broadway).“
A photo posted by Brandi Mackenzie (@bh_mackenzie) on
MANDATORY EVACUATIONS being issued by Longmont Police Department…
City of Longmont is ordering mandatory evacuations in the Southmoor Park
neighborhood. Please leave your home now. Move away from Left Hand
Creek. St. Vrain Valley School District school buses will be available
for anyone who cannot leave the area in a vehicle. Buses will be staged
at Quebec Ave and S. Main St. We do not want you leaving on foot.
Evacuation centers are open at Silver Creek High School and the Recreation
Center, 310 Quail Rd. Please monitor the City of Longmont website for
call center is open: (303) 651-8595. Please call if you cannot
leave your home in a vehicle.
these evacuations are mandatory. We expect flooding in your neighborhood
and you need to leave now.
The reported sinkhole mentioned by the Aurora Sentinel in the tweet below is at the same location shown in our video of the Aurora firefighter rescuing a stranded driver.
Callers reporting a sinkhole forming near Alameda and Havana. Avoid intersection.
— The Aurora Sentinel (@aurorasentinel) September 12, 2013
Thompson School Districts will be releasing all students early today, according to a press release. Middle schools and high schools have already been released — at 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively — and elementary school students will be released at 12:15 p.m. Click here for all school closure updates.
EB Peoria Street CLOSED at Colfax Avenue due to street flooding.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) September 12, 2013
Commerce City PD: Homes in the Fairfax Park area are experiencing flooding. Union Pacific has also stopped railroad traffic nearby until conditions improve.
To go along with that video of flooding in downtown Estes Park below, nearby Lyons is also experiencing heavy flooding. In fact, the city is completely isolated at this point, with no one being allowed in or out of the city limits. This is mostly due to the fact that Highway 36 between Boulder and Lyons is completely impassable, according to reports.
Numerous reports of heavy street flooding in Aurora. We are advising people to STAY OFF THE ROADS!
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) September 12, 2013
It has been confirmed: A second person has indeed been killed in the floods in Boulder. Three people are now dead statewide due to today’s flooding and heavy rain. Click here for more details.
We’re now getting reports of a third death that is being reported near Linden Road in north Boulder. We’re working to confirm that at a press conference that is now ongoing in Boulder. Click here to watch that press conference.
A viewer from Commerce City sent us this photo. She tells us these rafters are paddling down a flood-created stream near Highway 85 and Brighton Road.
We just got that school closure information from Denver Public Schools. Click here for all other school closure information.
This video is from viewer Patti, McCartney, who says this footage shows Left Hand Creek in Longmont’s South Moor Park flooding this morning.
Thankfully, all three drivers whose vehicles were submerged when Dillon Road collapsed north of Broomfield were rescued. All three suffered only minor injuries.
That photo from Hema Mullur of the road collapse at Highway 287 and Dillon is just north of Broomfield. We’re being told that a driver was pulled out of one of the submerged vehicles alive moments ago.
We’re getting reports that flooding at the intersection of Colfax and Kalamath near Metro State in Denver is backing up traffic. Click here for the latest traffic conditions: http://kdvr.com/traffic/
We’re getting reports that multiple cars are submerged in flood waters after Dillon Road collapsed near Hwy 287. That is just north of Broomfield. We’ll post updates as we get them.
Flow rates on the Boulder Creek indicate this is the worst flooding in the state since the Big Thompson Flood — the deadliest flood in Colorado history — over 26 years ago.
About 400 faculty and staff were evacuated from their homes near the University of Colorado campus after heavy rains caused widespread flooding in Boulder.
That latest tweet from the Colorado Springs Fire Department confirms the death total from this morning’s flooding is now at two. Very tough news to report.
State Highway 72 is closed indefinitely between State
Highway 93 and State Highway 119 (Coal Creek Canyon) due to a washed out
roadway and other areas of road damage from flooding. Local traffic
still will be allowed to travel the highway, but it will remain closed to
all through traffic until further notice.
Westbound Interstate 70 at Beaver Brook — west of Evergreen
Parkway — has reopened following an overnight mudslide.
Boulder Community Hospital will be closing outpatient operations today, which will include the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and rehab services. Patients will be called with information. There is no reported danger to the hospital’s inpatients at either of its two facilities as of 5 a.m.
National Weather Service extends Flash Flood Warning for Larimer County until 7:15 a.m.
Xcel Energy estimates it will take 2-4 hours to restore power in currently identified areas. Xcel expects more outages to be reported as day breaks.
Mudslide in Jamestown, Colo. Photo from Jill Bielawski
St. Vrain closing Lyons and Hygiene schools. The rest will be open.
Boulder Valley School District closed Thursday.
3.5″ of rain reported northwest of Colorado Springs since Wednesday night. U.S. Highway 24 closed at Cave of the Winds. Area is under a Flash Flood Warning.
A total of five dams have been breached near Lyons due to heavy rain. Boulder County spokeswoman Gabbie Boerkircher says the dams are not broken, but water is flowing right at the top edge of the dams as of 3:35 a.m. Officials are monitoring the dams very closely.
Southwestern Weld County under a Flash Flood Warning until 5:00 a.m. Communities that will experience flooding include Brighton, Firestone, Frederick, Fort Lupton, Lochbuie and Dacono.
Record flooding is forecast Thursday morning on St. Vrain Creek. Flood Stage is 8.5 feet, forecast is to hit 9.5 feet. The record is 9.1 feet on June 1, 1941.
Pinpoint Weather Meteorologist Jennifer Broome: Significant flash flooding happening in parts of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. See Watches and Warnings here
Rule of thumb: “Turn around, don’t drown.” Don’t try to drive through any high water on roads.
Road Closures in Larimer County:
— Hwy 14 Poudre Canyon from Ted’s Place to Stove Prairie Road
— Hwy 34 from the Dam Store to Estes Park
— Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes Park
— Owl Canyon Road from CR19 to Hwy 287
— CR 47 from Hwy 36
— CR 23 from CR52E to Bingham Hill Road
— CR 25E from CR 54E to Rist Canyon Road
— Stove Prairie Road from Hwy 14 to Rist Canyon Rd
The following roads are closed in Boulder County:
- Boulder Canyon at the mouth to the west
- Hwy 66 from North Foothills Hwy to Lyons
- 63rd/61 Streets from Jay Road to Valmont Road
- US 36 from Lyons into Larimer County
- Baseline Road from Chautauqua Park to Flagstaff
- Linden Road from Broadway west
- Lefthand Canyon from Foothills Hwy to Peak to Peak Hwy
- Sugarloaf Road at the 600 Block
- Lefthand Canyon Road at Lee Hill
- Four Mile Canyon from Boulder Canyon to Poorman
- Gold Run at Dixon
- Four Mile Canyon at Boulder Canyon to North of boulder canyon
- Coal Creek Canyon Drive and Hwy 93
- Erie Parkway from Briggs to Weld County Rd #7
- Old Tale Road from McSorley Drive
- South Boulder Road from Cherryvale road to 76th Street
Boulder County government buildings will be closed Thursday.
Gabbie Boerkircher, Public Information Officer with Boulder County says there is one fatality in Jamestown due to a structure collapse from severe flooding. There are multiple homes/structure collapses in the area. The number is unknown. A rock slide is stopping crews from getting to the deceased or any other homes in the area.
Trunk floating in Reed Hall on CU campus. Photo by Nigel Amstock and CU Independent
Xcel Energy reports 32 power outages affecting 900 customers. Here’s a link to a map of the outages
Report: Evacuations taking place in Lyons
Office of Emergency Management says roads and streets are impassable in Boulder. Numerous power outages are being reported.
Forecast calls for two more days of heavy rain along the Front Range of Colorado
Highway 66 into Lyons under water and closed.
According to emergency communications: Dam failure in Pinewood Springs. Water heading toward Lyons. Urgent situation… All roads into Lyons closed. Flood sirens about to sound in Lyons.
Moderate rain falling in downtown Denver. Storm moving northwest.
U.S. Highway 34 is closed from Estes Park to the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon
U.S. Highway 36 is closed between Broomfield and Boulder
Intensity of rainfall in Boulder has decreased as of 1:45 a.m. Thursday
Flash Flood Warning for Waldo Canyon burn scar in El Paso County. Weather Service in Pueblo says intense cells moving over area.
Red Cross opening a shelter at 2:00 a.m. at the YMCA, 28th & Mapleton in Boulder.
CU Campus Alert: By order of CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, the CU-Boulder campus will be closed Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 due to effects of severe flooding and the ongoing weather emergency. The CU-Boulder leadership will evaluate re-opening the campus after the impact of the storm on campus infrastructure has been fully assessed Thursday.