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 TUE MAY 22 2018

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

20-22 In 1959...from the 20th to the 22nd...the three-day rain caused
        some flooding in metro Denver where rain totaled 1.68 inches
        at Stapleton Airport.  Showers...accompanied by hail near
        Brighton...caused some damage to truck crops.  Heavy snow in
        the foothills caused damage to power and telephone lines.
20-27 In 2002...lightning sparked a wildfire near Deckers the
        continued from the 20th to the 27th.  Extremely dry
        conditions and very strong winds the following day allowed
        the fire...known as the consume 3850 acres
        before it could be contained.  Thirteen structures were
        destroyed...including 4 homes...resulting in 2.2 million
        dollars in damage.
21-22 In 1878...overnight...from the 21st to the 22nd...heavy rains of
        cloudburst intensity on the Palmer Divide to the south of
        the city caused flash flooding on Cherry Creek in Denver...
        which resulted in 2 deaths.  A wall of water swept through
        the city between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM on the morning of the
        22nd.  The flood was so sudden and unexpected that homes
        along the creek in the city were submerged in water knee
        deep before the slumbering occupants knew anything about it.
        By daybreak the banks on both sides of the creek were lined
        by residents viewing the destruction caused by the raging
        waters in such a short time.  Seven bridges across the
        creek were destroyed in the city.  Damage to private and
        city property was estimated between 30 and 50 thousand
        dollars.  Quite a number of cattle and sheep were killed
        along the reach of the creek.  Only 0.01 inch of rain
        fell in the city on the 21st with a trace of rain on the
        22nd.  Flash flooding also occurred on Kiowa Creek near
        Bennett on the night of the 21st when the flood waters
        washed out the Kansas Pacific Railroad bridge.  An east
        bound freight train plunged into the turbulent waters
        killing the three crewmen.  The locomotive was completely
        buried in the sand and never found to this day!
21-23 In 1876...from the 21st to the 23rd...snow changed to heavy
        rain over the city...resulting in widespread flooding
        along Cherry Creek and the South Platte River...nearly as
        great as the flash flood of May 19-20...1864.  However...
        damage was greater because the city had grown much larger
        and there were more bridges for the flood waters to
        destroy.  Precipitation in the city totaled 6.70 inches
        from 10:00 PM on the 21st through 3:00 AM on the 23rd. The
        greatest precipitation ever recorded in Denver in 24 hours...
        6.53 inches...occurred on the 21st and 22nd.  Small
        buildings and bridges along Cherry Creek were washed away
        by the flood waters.  Bridges over the South Platte River
        were damaged.  The city irrigation ditch was damaged and
        rendered unfit for service.  Strong winds at speeds of 30
        to 40 mph drove the heavy rain through brick walls 12 to
        16 inches thick.  Many sheep and cattle were either killed
        by lightning or drowned...including some 100 head of cattle
        in Jefferson County alone.  There was immense damage to
        railroad tracks...especially the Kansas Pacific line to the
        east of the city.  The Colorado Central suffered estimated
        damage of 10 to 15 thousand dollars.  In addition...the
        heavy rain caused extensive flooding on Soda and Bear Creeks
        in the foothills.  Flooding along Boulder Creek inundated
        farm and pasture land in the Boulder valley and damaged a
        few bridges.  Rail travel had to be suspended in the area
        for several days.
22    In 1876...the most precipitation in Denver on any calendar
        day...6.50 inches...occurred.
      In 1901...northeast winds were sustained to 41 mph with gusts
        to 45 mph.
      In 1903...west winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to
        55 mph from an apparent microburst...which produced a trace
        of rain.
      In 1976...the public reported 3/4 inch diameter hail and wind
        gusts to 53 mph near Littleton.
      In ball size hail fell in the Lorretto Heights
        area of south metro Denver.
      In 1991...a tornado touched down briefly in Castle Rock.  No
        injuries were reported.
      In off duty National Weather Service employee
        reported hail up to golf ball size just west of the City
        of Denver in Jefferson County.  Thunderstorm wind gusts
        reached 58 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield
        and 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1996...a severe thunderstorm pummeled northwest and
        northern sections of metro Denver with large hail ranging
        in size from 3/4 to 2 inches in diameter.  The cities of
        Arvada and Westminster were the hardest hit.  The insurance
        industry estimated 60 million dollars in damage to homes
        and personal property and 62 million dollars in damage to
        automobiles...for a total of 122 million dollars in insured
        losses.  This estimate also included the cities of Golden...
        Thornton...and Wheat Ridge.  This was the fourth worst
        hailstorm to hit metro Denver in the last 10 years.
      In 1998...large hail fell across north metro Denver.  Hail
        as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter was measured in
        Broomfield and Hudson.  Hail to 1 1/4 inches fell in
        Roggen.  Hail to 1 inch fell in Brighton...near Keenesburg...
        in Watkins...and in the City of Denver.  Lightning ignited
        a house fire in Ft. Lupton.  A warehouse worker in Denver
        was injured when he was knocked off a loading dock by
        a lightning bolt.  The bolt skipped off a nearby radio
        tower and struck him in the arm.  He was treated for
        numbness in his right arm and released.
      In 1999...severe thunderstorms produced 7/8 inch diameter
        hail over the City of Denver...with one inch diameter hail
        reported in Aurora...and 3/4 inch hail near Watkins.
      In 2006...a lightning strike sparked a fire and damaged the
        roof of a recreation center in Evergreen.  The fire spread
        into some brush and consumed about one quarter acre before
        it was extinguished.  Severe thunderstorms produced strong
        wind gusts across portions of metro Denver.  Winds gusted
        to 72 mph in Georgetown...62 mph near Parker and Bennett...
        60 mph in Castle Rock...and 59 mph in Longmont.  The winds
        caused no reportable damage.  A thunderstorm produced
        southwest wind gusts to 52 mph at Denver International
      In 2008...a powerful tornado swept north-northwestward across
        Weld County...carving a path of destruction nearly 39 miles
        in length.  The tornado...up to one-mile wide at times...
        initially touched down northeast of Platteville and finally
        lifted 6 miles west-northwest of Wellington.  A tornado
        assessment in the aftermath of the tornado revealed
        extensive areas of damage.  On the enhanced Fujita Scale...
        there were pockets of EF3 damage near the Missle Silo Park
        Campground and to businesses and a home in eastern Windsor.
        Farmers reported extensive damage to crops and irrigation
        equipment.  There was one fatality and 78 injuries...
        ranging from broken bones to minor cuts and lacerations.
        One man was killed when he tried to escape a trailer park
        in his motor home.  Tractor trailers were flipped along
        U.S. Highway 85...and over 200 power poles were snapped or
        blown down.  Approximately 60000 people were left without
        electricity.  The tornado overturned 15 railroad cars and
        destroyed a lumber car.  The tornado also flattened the
        main feedlot in Windsor and destroyed a dairy barn.  Most
        of the 400 cows were killed in the tornado or destroyed
        later.  The thunderstorm also produced hail up to the size
        of baseballs.  Another tornado from a separate thunderstorm...
        rated an EF1...briefly touched down near Dacono and
        destroyed 5 buildings.  The tornado overturned a five-wheel
        trailer and injured a man sitting inside.  Preliminary
        estimates from FEMA indicated 850 homes were damaged...and
        nearly 300 homes were significantly damaged or destroyed.
        The Poudre Valley Rural Electric Associated reported $1
        million of damage to electric transmission lines.
        Privately insured damages totaled $147 million...making it
        the state`s 4th costliest disaster. Large hail up to 1 1/2
        inches in diameter...was reported in the vicinities of
        Golden and Longmont.
      In 2014...a severe thunderstorm Denver area produced nickel
        to quarter size hail in parts of west Denver and near
        Bennett.  Locally heavy rainfall produced some minor
        street flooding in parts of metro Denver. The heavy
        rainfall produced localized flash flooding near Bennett.
        Rainfall totaled 0.54 inches at Denver International
22-23 In 1933...from the 22nd to the 23rd...high winds and gales
        overnight caused considerable damage in and near the city.
        Much greenhouse glass was broken...which caused damage to
        sheltered plants.  Great numbers of plants growing in the
        open were damaged or killed by wind-driven sand and soil.
        Fields were eroded by the wind and a few trees were
        uprooted.  West winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts
        as high as 65 mph in downtown Denver on the 22nd.

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