At Least Three Dead in Colorado Flooding - News - @ JEMS.com


At Least Three Dead in Colorado Flooding

Wildfire damage and heavy rain cause flash flooding of mountain towns


 
 

P. SOLOMON BANDA and STEVEN K. PAULSON, Associated Press | | Thursday, September 12, 2013


LYONS, Colo. (AP) — Heavy rains and scarring from recent wildfires sent walls of water crashing down mountainsides early Thursday in Colorado, cutting off mountain towns, forcing the University of Colorado to cancel classes, and leaving at least three people dead.

Boulder County was hit hardest, with up to 6 inches of rain falling over 12 hours. But flooding was reported all along the Front Range, from Colorado Springs to north of Fort Collins.

Capt. John Burt of the Colorado State Patrol said a storm cell moved over the mountains during the night, headed east over the Plains, then circled back around. The National Weather Service warned of an "extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation" throughout the region as the flooding forced people from their homes and caused mud and rockslides in some areas.

"Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life," the Weather Service warned throughout the morning.

Boulder Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Gabrielle Boerkircher said many roads were blocked and volunteers were trying to help stranded people until emergency crews could arrive.

Boerkircher told The Associated Press one person was killed when a structure collapsed in the tiny town of Jamestown. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said another person was also found dead in northern Boulder.

"We're trying to get to Jamestown," Boerkircher said of a mountain community northwest of Boulder. "A lot of towns need assistance, and we cannot get through."

Two other structures in the area were also damaged and may have collapsed.

To the south, Colorado Springs spokeswoman Kim Melchor said police conducting flood patrols found a body in Fountain Creek on the west side of the city early Thursday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Kleyla said a 20-foot wall of water was reported in Left Hand Canyon north of Boulder, and a firefighter radioed he was trapped in a tree. He said rescuers were trying to get through, but were blocked by debris.

In Broomfield, U.S. Highway 287 collapsed when a culvert washed out, dumping three vehicles into the rushing water. Three people were rescued and had minor injuries.

Near Lyons, about 2 feet of water was standing on U.S. Highway 36 as a normally shallow creek known for trout fishing flooded its banks.

At least one earthen dam gave way southeast of Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and water levels could rise downstream as authorities release more water to keep more dams from giving way.

A National Guard helicopter requested to help pull people from their homes hasn't been able to take off because of fog and low cloud cover throughout the area.

Flash flood warnings were issued for multiple counties in the region, including Jamestown and the Fourmile wildfire burn area.

Flash flood emergencies were also issued downstream from the Front Range mountain areas, including Fort Lupton, Dacono, Plateville and other farming areas as debris piled up near bridges.

An evacuation center for the mountain residents has been sent up in nearby Nederland, officials said.

Meanwhile, about 400 students in a dorm at the University of Colorado in Boulder were evacuated and classes were canceled Thursday and Friday because of the flooding.

Mudslides and rockslides were reported in several areas, with parts of U.S. 6, Boulder Canyon, Colorado 14 and U.S. 287 all reporting problems and temporary blockages during the evening Lefthand Canyon was reported blocked by one of the many slides.

Boulder police dispatchers were receiving calls of flooded homes and streets and submerged cars.

______

Paulson reported from Denver.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, flooding

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Strikes Manhattan Pedestrians

Seven people hurt when car jumps curb.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >