DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– An afternoon storm that struck the Denver metro area, including Lone Tree, took a couple of Colorado newcomers by surprise Friday. Severe weather brought thunderstorms with heavy rain, lightning and hail to the Front Range.
“The rain came out of nowhere and then there was hail,” Chris Jackson said.
Jackson and his business partner, Malcolm Lackey, recently moved to Colorado from Texas. They opened a new shop at the Park Meadows Mall. When the pounding hail rattled the ceiling of the shopping center, Lackey explained, they quickly closed up.
“I come outside to check on my car and the whole parking lot is flooded with water,” Lackey told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
The men tried to get to their nearby hotel, but hit a traffic gridlock due to rising water on Yosemite Street near C-470.
“I come down to right about here,” Lackey said, pointing to the intersection, “and I see a [vehicle] about 3 or 4 feet underwater.”
Two people were trapped inside that car, according to South Metro Fire Rescue. Lackey said he was ready to jump into action.
“I said, ‘We either got to do something to help these people out so we can get them out of the way and to safety, so we can get ourselves to safety,’” he said.
By the time Lackey was close enough to the intersection that was quickly filling with water, first responders were already moving in and rescued the driver and passenger inside. With a stretch of Yosemite Street closed for hours, Lackey and Jackson did whatever they could do help others.
“We were helping people getting into the parking lot,” Lackey said, adding neither he nor Jackson had jackets. “I think it’s just being a good person. I was raised that way.”
But now, both men aren’t so sure they’re ready to call Colorado home.
“Are you still convinced you want to move here?” CBS4 photojournalist Robert Gajdecki asked.
“I am not,” Jackson replied laughing. “This is a sign from God.”
South Metro Fire Rescue said they responded to 10 storm related calls during the severe weather, including the water rescue for the stranded car on Yosemite. Five of the calls were for homes struck by lightning; one resulted in an attic fire.