Thursday, September 12, 2013

Heavy Rainfall Prompts Evacuations Along Colfax

Denver Police are evacuating Colfax Avenue to 11th Avenue from Verbena Street to Xanthia Street due to high water in the area. Evacuees should go to 11th Avenue and Yosemite Street. RTD buses will be there to help people evacuate.

The transportation network in Denver is largely open and passable for the evening rush hour, according to the city.  Road closures are in effect in the areas of Colfax and Yosemite, 47th and Quebec and 56th and Roslyn, where crews are on-site and attempting to contain flooding. There may also be some pockets of localized street flooding throughout the City, but conditions are mostly clear. Commuters should still expect a slow drive home tonight and be aware of standing water and splash-back when driving.

Streets are closed in the area of 11th to 14th Avenues and Wabash to Yosemite Streets.
Residents wishing to leave the area may go to the Denver Police District 2 Station - 3921 N. Holly.
Denver Public Works Wastewater crews have been fully deployed to deal with the heavy rainfall in the area.

Currently, crews are clearing blockages in catch basins and storm drains.

Public works has the following advice to deal with rising waters:

In some areas that are geographical low-points and underpasses, water can't be expected to disappear down the storm inlets instantly - the pace and volume of the rainfall is too quick and too great to immediately drain off. It takes time for the system to accommodate it. Folks can help out by clearing any trash or debris that is visibly blocking storm inlets or gutter flow WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.

Move trash and recycling containers out of the street and gutter line. Remember to re-position them for collection after any street flooding or water flow is drained. If you know that your street tends to flood because it is located in a low point, be sure to move your vehicles to higher ground.

Stay clear of downed lines and report them immediately to Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-1999. If a power line has fallen onto a vehicle, stay away from the vehicle. Seek help immediately by calling 911.

Denver Parks and Recreation Urban Trail Update:

Citywide Trails staff has placed trail closure signs at select trail access points:

• The Cherry Creek Trail is underwater and impassable from the Confluence Park ramp (accessing lower channel) to 1st Avenue (at Downing).
• Other Cherry Creek trail areas underwater are the University underpass, the lower Cherry Creek Mall trail, Colorado Blvd underpass, Cherry Street, Holly Street and Monaco underpasses. These underpasses have alternate, at-grade street crossings and/or high water detours.

• The Platte River trail is under water at Evans and Franklin Street. Both of these locations have alternate at-grade street crossings.

Safety tips for walking or cycling on urban trails:

• Do not walk or bike near a river or stream during or following heavy rainfall, even on Denver's paved urban bike and walking trails; water flow can quickly increase and flooding can occur without notice.
• Never take shelter in a culvert or in an enclosed space, especially in low elevations by rivers and streams. Always go to higher ground out of the flow of water.
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.
• If lightning is present, do not stand under or near an isolated tree or group of trees.
• Never allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains or flooded areas.

Safety tips for driving in heavy rain:

If possible, avoid driving.
If you must drive, please remember:
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
• One foot of water will float most vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles - including SUVs and pick-ups.
• If you must drive through water, drive slowly and steadily.
• Avoid driving in water with downed electrical or power lines; the electric current passes through water easily.
• Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.
• Watch out for manholes that have lost their covers due to high water volumes.

Flooded basements:

Residents with flooded basements are advised to contact their insurance company immediately. Other recommended steps include:
• Open windows and ventilate well.
• ACT QUICKLY: Dry wet or damp areas within 24-48 hours after the flood.
• Remove all the excess water with mops or a wet vacuum.
• Use portable fans to increase the circulation. DO NOT use a central furnace blower if flooding has occurred in it or any of the ducts.
• In extreme flooding where water has soaked the walls it may be necessary to open wall cavities, remove baseboards, or pry open wall paneling.

Downed branches:

If a tree limb is broken on a public right-of-way, citizens are asked to contact Denver forestry to assess damage and tree safety. For trees on private property, citizens can visit for a list of licensed and insured tree care contractors.
Denver Solid Waste Management collects a limited amount of branches as part of its regular trash collection service. Branches must be no larger than 4 inches in diameter, and they must be cut into lengths of 4 feet or less, bundled and tied, and weigh no more than 40 pounds.

For more information about branch disposal visit

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