The Colorado Office of Emergency Management is now reporting seven confirmed fatalities in the floods that have impacted 17 Colorado counties in the last week. As of Monday, the following counties had been affected by the severe weather and flooding: Boulder, El Paso, Larimer, Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Washington, Weld, Sedgewick, Otero, Archuelta.
Flash flood watches are still in effect Monday for much of Central, North Central and Northeast Colorado as the ground at this point is too saturated to absorb any more rain or flood water.
In Arvada, the Ralston Water Treatment center is back online as of this afternoon. Customers may notice a different smell, look and taste because of large amounts of silt, but it is tested as safe to drink. Arvada residents are asked to conserve water and eliminate outdoor watering. The plant shut down for a few hours Friday when silt levels rose from an average of 4 units to an overwhelming 950 units. Residents’ water was piped in from a different city plant while the main center was cleaned and tested.
Last week, the storm waters surging out of the neighborhoods in the northeast of Denver ruptured the Havana Ponds dam inside Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, located about 15 miles west of Arvada. The water dug an 8-foot-deep trench through the refuge and washed across roadways. “The system is well-designed. It’s just that this particular event is more than anything it’s designed for,” said refuge manager Dave Lucas as evacuations of the Irondale neighborhood on the northwest border of the park began. The evacuation was due to masses of water which threatened to break an earthen embankment representing a second line of defense once the dam failed. The refuge now reports on its Facebook page that it is closed until deemed safe for the public.[Image and video via YouTube.]