Colorado Flooding: Rains That Claimed 3 Lives Break Record Set In 1919; More Rains Forecast For Friday, Weekend

  @Keemohan on September 13 2013 3:21 AM
Colorado Flooding
Water runs freely down Topaz Drive as heavy rains cause severe flooding in Boulder, Colorado September 12, 2013. Reuters

The nonstop downpour in Boulder, Colo., which has resulted in massive flooding and has claimed three lives so far, has broken a record set in 1919, by recording 7.21 inches of rain in just over 15 hours, according to The Weather Channel.

In 1919, only 4.8 inches of rain was received within a 24-hours period, the report noted, adding that Boulder -- with an average September rainfall of 1.63 inches -- has picked up more than four times its average monthly rainfall in only 15 hours.

The late-summer deluge has wreaked havoc in Colorado’s Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley and Aurora neighborhoods as well, in addition to disrupting life in several mountain communities, prompting President Barack Obama to declare an emergency on Thursday night.

With more rains forecast for the next few days, the declaration of emergency has helped to set in motion disaster relief efforts in the affected areas.

More than two dozen roads, and highways connecting Boulder to Denver and Golden to Boulder, have been closed due to flooding or a collapse, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders forcing thousands to move to higher ground. Mudslides and rock slides were reported in several areas.

"There is water everywhere," Andrew Barth, the emergency management spokesman in Boulder County, told Reuters. "We've had several structural collapses. There's mud and muck and debris everywhere. Cars are stranded all over the place."

The University of Colorado campus was one of the hardest hit as a quarter of the campus building was damaged by rising water, authorities told USA Today.

"This is not an ordinary day. It is not an ordinary disaster,'' Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said, describing walls of water as high as 20 feet that tore down mountainsides.

"All the preparation in the world ... can't put people up those canyons while these walls of water are coming down," he told USA Today. 

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