Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT SAT JUN 17 2017

...Today in metro Denver weather history...

12-17 In 2000...two large wildfires developed in the Front Range
        foothills as careless campers and very dry conditions
        proved to be a dangerous combination.  Strong winds
        gusting in excess of 60 mph on the 13th fanned the flames...
        spreading both wildfires out of control.  Winds gusted to
        78 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the Continental Divide west
        of Boulder.  The Hi Meadows Wildfire...about 35 miles
        southwest of Denver...consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and
        80 structures...mostly high priced homes.  The Bobcat
        Wildfire...located about 12 miles southwest of Fort Collins...
        consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and 22 structures.  Late
        on the 16th...a strong cold front moved south over the Great
        Plains into northeastern Colorado.  Low level upslope
        conditions developed in the wake of the front...producing
        2 to 4 inches of snowfall overnight at elevations above
        8 thousand feet.  Firefighters were able to contain both
        fires shortly thereafter.
16-17 In 1965...on the afternoon and evening of the 16th...violent
        thunderstorms produced extremely heavy cloudbursts of rain
        over the Palmer Divide and sent a wall of water as high as
        20 feet down both branches of Plum Creek into the South
        Platte River and through metro Denver.  The heavy rainfall
        produced the most devastating flood in the history of
        Denver.  Rainfall totaled 14.0 inches in 3 hours at both
        Larkspur and Palmer Lake with 12.0 inches recorded in Castle
        Rock.  The flood waters caused extensive damage to roads and
        bridges in Larkspur...Castle Rock...and Sedalia...including
        washing out the I-25 bridge over East Plum Creek in Castle
        Rock.  The citizens of metro Denver received reports of the
        flooding to the south and had a few hours to initiate
        evacuation procedures along the South Platte River...greatly
        limiting the loss of life.  By evening...the flood reached
        Littleton where an heroic effort was made to save nearly
        150 horses at the Centennial Racetrack...which was
        completely inundated by the flood waters.  As the flood
        proceeded through the City of Denver...the river became more
        than 1/2 mile wide and destroyed all homes...trailer courts...
        and businesses in its path.  The waters contained debris
        ranging from refrigerators to old cars.  As many as 26
        bridges were damaged or destroyed...including the 6th Avenue
        freeway bridge across the South Platte.  Both Public Service
        Company power plants were shut down by the flood.  The King
        Soopers grocery chain bakery was inundated.  About midnight...
        the torrent crested at 25 feet above normal with flow
        exceeding 40 times normal and is the record flood on the
        South Platte and many of its tributaries.  The flood caused
        230 million dollars in damage and 8 deaths along the entire
        South Platte River basin.  The intense rain also caused
        flooding along Cherry Creek in Denver...on Toll Gate and Sand
        Creeks in east metro Denver...and on Kiowa and Bijou Creeks
        to the east of Denver.  The South Platte River flood closed
        nearly every major east-west highway into Denver...nearly
        isolating the city.  The flood caused heavy damage to state
        and county roads in the area.  Railroads were also hard hit
        with the main yards in lower downtown inundated.  Sewerage...
        water supply facilities...and irrigation works also received
        heavy flood damage.  The flood crest did not reach Nebraska
        until the 20th.
17    In 1915...northwest winds were sustained to 41 mph with an
        extreme velocity to 42 mph.
      In 1967...this was the 24th consecutive day with a trace
        or more of precipitation from May 25th.  Precipitation
        totaled 5.87 inches during the period...more than a
        third of the average yearly total.
      In 1975...hail more than 2 inches in diameter fell in
        eastern Aurora.
      In 1977...golf ball size hail was reported 3 miles east of
        Arapahoe County Airport...now Centennial Airport.  Heavy
        hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was reported in Littleton...
        Castle Rock...and Sedalia.
      In 1979...a man and a girl were struck and killed by lightning
        while walking in a park in northwest Denver.
      In 1987...3/4 inch hail fell near Boulder.
      In 1991...a microburst wind gust to 59 mph kicked up some
        blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1998...hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in
        Boulder.
      In 2003...lightning struck a feeder line...knocking out the
        electricity to about 3000 residents in Littleton.  A
        lightning strike caused minor damage to the roof and attic
        of a home in Lafayette.  Another lightning strike caused
        minor roof damage to a residence in Louisville.  Yet
        another lightning strike hit a home in Denver and caused
        a small attic fire.  Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter
        was measured near Centennial Airport and near Greenland.
      In 2009...hail up to 1 inch in diameter was measured near
        Longmont.
17-18 In 1964...high winds at speeds of 50 to 60 mph with gusts as
        high as 75 mph caused damage to homes...power lines...and
        trees in Boulder.  Non-convective west winds gusting to
        46 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton International
        Airport on the 17th.

$$



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