Commerce City watching water carefully: Embankment holds back flooding overnight

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Commerce City officials are keeping a close eye on an embankment located on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. They say the water behind that embankment is threatening homes in the Irondale neighborhood.

The situation caused the city's police department to issue an evacuation order for that area at 7:04 p.m. Thursday.

The evacuation area is bounded on the north by East 88th Avenue, on the south by East 80th Avenue, on the east by Monaco Street and on the west by Highway 2.

"The evacuation is due to a dam failure on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge," police said in a statement after the dam failed Thursday.

In an email update sent Friday morning, the police department said the situation did not worsen overnight. They described the current amount of water behind the embankment as "150-yards wide, three-quarters of a mile long and about 20-feet deep."

"Federal and local officials continue to monitor the structure and water levels remain steady. As long as the water remains, there is still the potential for residential flooding in the Irondale neighborhood," police spokesman Officer Christian Rasmussen wrote.

About 150 residents of the Irondale neighborhood took shelter at Adams City High School, located at 7200 Quebec Parkway. More than 200 large animals were also evacuated from that area.

Elsewhere in Commerce City, evacuations remain in effect for the Fairfax Park neighborhood, the neighborhood north of E. 64th Avenue and west of Holly Street to Highway 2

Police report water levels have receded in Fairfax Park and at Sand Creek. Still, Rasmussen wrote that retention ponds had collected significant amounts of standing water.

City buildings are on a 2-hour delay, with nonessential employees reporting at 10 a.m.

Road closures in Commerce City as of 7 a.m.:

-Highway 2 is closed from E. 80th Avenue to E. 96th Avenue

-E. 88TH Avenue from Interstate 76 to Highway 2 is closed

-Brighton Road is closed between E. 80th Avenue and E. 82nd Avenue

-Highway 2 from E. 64th Avenue to E. 69th Avenue

-Reunion Parkway south of 104th Avenue is impassible

-Brighton Road from E. 56th Avenue to E. 60th Avenue

-E. 56th Avenue from Colorado Boulevard to Brighton Boulevard

-Fairfax Drive from E. 69th Avenue to E. 72nd Avenue

-E. 96th Avenue from Highway 2 to Chambers Road – except Eagle Creek residents

-Havana Street between E.104th Avenue and E. 96th Avenue

-Peoria Street from E. 96th Avenue to E. 104th Avenue

-E. 72nd Avenue between Highway 85 and Highway 2

-E. 60th Avenue (4400 block) west to Brighton Boulevard

-E. 96th Avenue from Eagle Creek Parkway to Chambers Road

-The 7700 block of Kenwood Street

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