Jamestown, CO, United States (4E) – Massive flooding hit Colorado’s Front Range Thursday killing three people, forcing evacuations of communities and destroying roads as Gov. John Hickenlooper said the state received the equivalent of one year’s rain in a day.
One fatality was found in a collapsed structure in Jamestown, according to Andrew Barth, spokesman for the Boulder Office of Emergency Management (BOEM). A swollen creek apparently caused a huge mudslide that buried the victim’s house.
A body was found in north Boulder in the 200 block of Linden Avenue, said Boulder Sheriff Joe Pelle. Floods trapped people in canyons and along rivers, streams and creeks throughout Boulder County, said Pelle.
In Colorado Springs, police on patrol found a body of a man in his 50s floating in the creek near Nevada Avenue and Las Vegas Street around 4:15 a.m.
The BOEM ordered downstream residents of Logan Mill to climb to higher ground around 11:30 a.m. as a surge of water hit Fourmile Creek. Other areas evacuated before noon were the St. Vrain River corridor near Longmont, the Southmoor Park neighborhood in Englewood, areas along the Big Thompson River in Loveland, the northern part of the Kenosha Farm neighborhood in Erie. Fairfax Park detention pond in Commerce City reached capacity at noon prompting the evacuation of the neighborhood.
The Vance Brand and Erie municipal airports were closed. Flood waters isolated the town of Lyons, in the foothills northwest of Boulder. The National Weather Service said rains filled a dam near Big Elk Meadows in Lyons about 2:30 a.m. Authorities ordered 400 homes in Big Elk Meadow, Pine Springs and the Blue Mountain area evacuated.
The Colorado 72 between Plainview Road and Twin Spruce Road was “completely washed out, said the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Roads in Commerce City and Thornton were closed.
The University of Colorado Boulder was closed until Friday and some dorms were evacuated due to the flood waters, said spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
A road collapsed at U.S. 287 and Dillon at the Broomfield/Lafayette border sending three vehicles into the water at about 6 a.m. Firefighters used a boat to rescue the drivers, who suffered minor injuries.
The rains that started Wednesday night is forecast to continue and cause flashfloods.