Colorado hasn’t been very lucky this year in terms of weather — from tornadoes in the winter to blizzards on Mother’s Day, the residents throughout the state have seen it all.
This past weekend, Colorado towns saw multiple river levels rising and in the southern part of the state, the Denver Post reported that meteorologists were predicting that the Arkansas River would be at “near flood levels.”
Prairie towns and lowland areas throughout Weld and Morgan county began flooding on Sunday night, and it was predicted that Colorado 144 and railroad tracks across the state would be covered by Monday. Three creeks that flow under Interstate 76 (Antelope, Kiowa, and Bijou Creeks) were all flowing toward the South Platte water system and caused water levels to rise onto the highway.
The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for northern California on Friday afternoon, according to the Greeley Tribune, and lasted until Sunday night. The National Weather Service also issued warnings for hazardous weather; regions throughout the northern part of the state have been affected by a myriad of bad weather patterns on top of the flooding, including snow, high winds, and freezing temperatures.
According to the latest reports, northeastern Colorado may continue seeing inclement weather for a while. Meteorologists predicted early in the week that temperatures would rise into the 50s, thereby increasing the likelihood of more flooding.
In fact, the weather has become so temperamental that Colorado’s oil and gas industry has already begun shutting down oil wells; as CBS Denver reports, the region faced serious flooding during September 2013 and over 1,000 barrels of oil were spilled out of flooded tanks.
The average water damage claim for a homeowner or business owner in the U.S. today is almost $5,000, but the cost of cleaning up 50,000 gallons of oil and 45,000 gallons of produced water was nothing short of a financial crisis for oil and gas companies back in 2013.
This time, those companies aren’t taking chances.
And neither are residents, after local authorities issued pre-evacuation warnings and instructed residents to be ready to leave the region if official evacuation alerts are issued. No alerts have been issued so far, but it’s possible that some towns could be evacuated later in the week as water levels continue rising.