AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Rushing water flooded streets in the Denver metro area on Thursday afternoon. More neighborhoods in Commerce City were evacuated on Thursday evening.
Residents are ordered to immediately evacuate from Commerce City’s Irondale neighborhood in the following area:
- North Border: E. 88th Avenue
- South Border: E. 80th Avenue
- East Border: Monaco Street
- West Border: Highway 2
Everyone in this area needs to leave now. Do not stay.
The evacuation is due to a dam failure on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. There is an embankment currently holding back a significant amount of water which is 300 yards wide, three-quarters of a mile long and about 15-20 feet deep. That is equivalent to three football fields in width and 12 football fields in length. The embankment is expected to fail and water will begin flowing in the neighborhood.
Most recent road closures and hazardous conditions include:
- Northbound and southbound Highway 85 are now open, but are expected to close again with more rain
- Highway 2 is closed from E. 80th Avenue to E. 96th Avenue
- E. 88TH Avenue from Interstate 76 to Highway 2 is closed
- Evacuation is still possible for some neighborhoods in Commerce City and residents should remain prepared to leave.
Roads closed in Commerce City include:
- Brighton Road is closed between E. 80th Avenue and E. 82nd Avenue
- Highway 2 from E. 64th Avenue to E. 69th Avenue
- Reunion Parkway south of 104th Avenue is impassible
- Brighton Road from E. 56th Avenue to E. 60th Avenue
- E. 56th Avenue from Colorado Boulevard to Brighton Boulevard
- Fairfax Drive from E. 69th Avenue to E. 72nd Avenue
- E. 96th Avenue from Highway 2 to Chambers Road – except Eagle Creek residents
- Havana Street between E.104th Avenue and E. 96th Avenue
- Peoria Street from E. 96th Avenue to E. 104th Avenue
- E. 72nd Avenue between Highway 85 and Highway 2
- E. 60th Avenue (4400 block) west to Brighton Boulevard
- E. 96th Avenue from Eagle Creek Parkway to Chambers Road
- The 7700 block of Kenwood Street
Other hazardous conditions:
- Immediate evacuations are in place for the Fairfax Park neighborhood, the neighborhood north of 64th Avenue and west of Holly Street to Hwy 2, and Irondale neighborhood. See complete details at www.c3gov.com.
- Tower Road south of 96th Avenue is open but may have considerable water
- Fairfax Park water has crested the banks and homes are experiencing flooding
- A small stream flood advisory has been issued for the Commerce City area.
One of the hardest hit areas in Aurora is Havana and Alameda where rushing water sent vehicles floating through the intersection instead of driving through it.
Some vehicles were still stuck in the area hours later.
“Nobody is prepared for anything like this in Colorado,” said one Aurora driver.
A lot of the water was coming from Expo Park near East Exposition Ave. and South Havana where a lake was overflowing because of all the rain.
One woman was rescued from the flash flooding after she drove her car right into the rushing water.
“Oh, man… I never understood flash flooding and so I got a taste how quick water comes and how fast it fills up,” said the woman.
CBS4 cameras even captured one woman who was trying to cross the street at Alameda. She fell over, got back up and then was pulled back down into the current again.
Several people who saw her struggling rushed to help her get to safety.
“That’s got to be a two-foot ripple of an under tow. You would drown. I’d drown as a grown man,” said one Aurora resident.
The road is washed out at Florida Ave. and S. Peoria St. Police want people to stay away from South Peoria St. from Jewell Ave. to Mississippi Ave. and Moline St. to Uvalda St.
The Aurora Police Department, the Cherry Creek School District and Aurora Public Schools have agreed to close all schools on Friday in the interest of public safety due to conditions caused by the heavy rains.
The Red Cross opened shelters in Commerce City at Adams City High School, 7200 Quebec Parkway, in Denver/Aurora at Evie Dennis School, 4800 Telluride Drive.
Thursday afternoon the Colorado Department of Transportation closed the eastbound ramps at Interstate 70 and Quebec because of flooding.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.