Live Blog: Images of massive flooding show widespread destruction
DENVER — Deadly flooding was taking place across the Front Range and in metro Denver Friday.
Rainfall totals hit 12-14 inches in places including Aurora and Boulder County. Evacuations were in effect in many locations, including Lyons, where the National Guard worked to airlift stranded residents.
More than 60 schools and/or school districts were closed Friday.
Officials have confirmed that four people have been killed due to flooding, three in Boulder County and another in Colorado Springs. Lengthy flash flood warnings and watches were also put in place. Click here for the latest on those weather advisories.
The severe weather will be constantly changing. For the latest, follow along with the real-time updates below.
The City of Boulder is reporting a significant breach in its main wastewater pipeline to the 75th Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. As flood waters began to recede, staff had visual confirmation at about 8:20 p.m. of a breach southwest of the wastewater treatment plant. There is no immediate threat to drinking water.
The breach is a result of flood waters destroying a section of pipeline northeast of 61st and Valmont, crossing Boulder Creek. The wastewater pipeline conveyed approximately 90 percent of Boulder’s untreated wastewater.
CDOT IS OPENING A ROAD TO ESTES PARK
They hope to have it open by 11:00 p.m. Friday
Basically it is the Peak to peak highway. This is ONLY for local residents, emergency traffic and essential visitors(delivery trucks etc). They will be checking ID’s
The Route Being Opened is:
— State Hwy 119 North from the Blackhawk/Central City area to Nederland
— Then to State Highway 72 north through Ward
— Then North to State Highway 7 to Estes Park through Allenspark
FEMA: Largest contingent of search and rescue teams ever in Colorado being deployed. They aim to help those stranded in the mountains west of Boulder, Fort Collins.
Thompson School District will be closed Monday, September 16
Residents of the Andersonville, Alta Vista and Buckingham neighborhoods in Fort Collins may now return to their homes. However, residents are urged to use caution because the area is still prone to flooding.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has approved a request from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper for a dual-status commander to support
flood response efforts effective 7 a.m. Sept. 14.
President Barack Obama approved a request Sept. 13 from the governor for federal disaster assistance related to the flooding in multiple counties.
When agreed upon by the secretary of defense and the governor of an affected state, dual-status commanders can direct federal active-duty and reserve forces, and state National Guard forces, in response to domestic incidents.
Current Road Closures in Greeley:
— East 24th Street, east of Cherry Avenue
— 71st Avenue between O Street to Poudre River Ranch
— 1st Avenue south of 22nd Street
— Riverview Farms Subdivision, between 28th and 30th Streets, east of 1st Avenue
— 95th Avenue from O Street to F Street
For ongoing announcements of road closures go to http://www.greeleygov.com. Use the “High Water Information” tab.
New storms develop around metro Denver Friday evening.
CDOT says I-25 remains closed from Wyoming to Hwy 34. Road open south of Hwy 34.
— Larimer Sheriff (@LarimerSheriff) September 14, 2013
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has placed Left Hand Water District on a boil water advisory. No contamination has been detected, but the advisory has been put in place as a precaution to protect the public from any possible breach of the drinking water system.
Residents are asked not to drink the water without boiling it first for at least three minutes. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice.
The District’s answering service can provide additional information, or questions can be emailed to the District at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greeley Emergency Manager just sent an update about their water. There is NO boil order and “water supply to Greeley and other Greeley Water customers (Milliken, Windsor and Evans) is safe.”
There is a voluntary evacuation along the Poudre River. Info available at http://greeleygov.com/gis/flood.aspx.
Greeley Recreation Center, 651 10th Avenue, is accepting residents who need shelter.
Due to road closures the Greeley-Evans Transit system Gold Route will not be serving any of its normal stops east of 11th Avenue on 37th Street.
Westridge Animal Hospital in Greeley and the Humane Society of Weld County in Evans are accepting pets if necessary for shelter.
Residents should stay home unless they are escaping rising water. Traffic in and around the community is becoming congested.
Commerce City flood conditions are improving and all evacuations are now lifted and roads are opening.
All previously closed roads are now open, with the exception of:
— E. 60th Avenue east of Brighton Boulevard will be closed temporarily pending debris cleanup.
— Portions of E. 69th Avenue will be closed due to pumping operations at Fairfax Park.
— E. 56th Avenue from Quebec Street to Havana Street will be closed due to pumping operations until 6 p.m.
Please adhere to all barricades and any road closures. Standing water on roadways can make for hazardous driving conditions; please use caution. Evacuation orders have been lifted for all areas.
There is still significant standing water in retention ponds, and residents should remain out of the water.
People worried about family or friends affected by flood may contact Boulder OEM Call Center @ 303.413.7730.
— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) September 13, 2013
CU has decided to postpone the Fresno State game originally scheduled for Saturday. Story: http://on.kdvr.com/abxkF4k
Click here for the full photo gallery showing flooding in Aurora and Jeffco from FOX31 Denver weather tracker Daryl Orr.
From CDOT on the I-70 closure near Beaver Brook:
Currently, only one lane of eastbound and westbound I-70 between US 6 and Hidden Valley is open with all traffic running on the eastbound lanes. Traffic on westbound I-70 at Beaver Brook is being detoured to the US 6 exit where they will be routed onto eastbound I-70. This configuration will be in place until the rock scaling on westbound I-70 is complete.
In addition, motorists on eastbound and westbound I-70 between Beaver Brook and Hidden Valley can expect intermittent 20-minute traffic stops for the scaling operations. Crews will close I-70 for 20 minutes at a time for scaling operations and then reopen the highway for 20 minutes to clear traffic. This cycle will continue through the scaling operations. Due to the unpredictable conditions, it is unknown how long the scaling will take. Major delays are expected. If motorists must travel, alternate routes such as US 285 are strongly advised.
Viewer video from Michael Mason shows the St. Vrain River barreling through the Del Camino area in unincorporated Weld County, just east of Longmont.
UPDATE: Male victim is being transported to hospital in serious & dog was also rescued! Denver Animal control is coming to care for the dog
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) September 13, 2013
This is video from our Chris Jose of the Big Thompson River swallowing I-25 and forcing officials to close the interstate near Loveland.
Update on Red Cross shelters open along the Front Range: http://on.kdvr.com/aVYGLNe
Map: Road closures, damage, evacuation notices for Jefferson County can be found at: http://on.kdvr.com/atEG7EG
An update on road Closures in Aurora:
I-70 exit onto southbound I-225 is closed, as the entrance onto southbound I-225 from
eastbound I-70 is flooded and impassable
-Alameda and Havana intersection is flooded and closed
-Peoria Street between Florida Avenue and Mexico Avenue
is closed due to flooding and a sink hole
-Utah Park remains flooded
From the city of Longmont:
We are encouraging all
residents of Longmont to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel. The
National Guard will be assisting the Town of Lyons with evacuations to the Life
Bridge Church on Highway 66. The Life Bridge Church is located near
Highway 66 and Gay St. Please limit any use of Highway 66 to
Authorities have ordered all residents of the town of Lyons to leave
Friday morning and the Colorado National Guard has been called into to
If you’re planning on heading up to the high country, you might have difficulty. Westbound I-70 has been completed closed at Beaver Brook. There is a long line of cars that are now stranded.
We have just confirmed that report about the potential Lyons evacuation from CNN’s Kelly Smoot. We will have more details for you when they become available.
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.
Flash flood watch remains in effect until noon from Fort Collins to Denver to Castle Rock. Light rain continues to fall.
— Jennifer Broome (@JenniferBroome) September 13, 2013
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.
Debris pushing through resident’s lot at 3rd and Hover in Longmont. A viewer sent the photo.
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.
Union Pacific Railroad has shut down all service to West Arvada at this time due to flooding.
— Arvada Fire District (@ArvadaFire) September 13, 2013