Teams work to clear stormdrains and reopen roads after widespread flooding in Aurora

AURORA, Colo. - The City of Aurora was able to reopen the intersection of E. Havana St. and E. Alameda Ave. after it was cleared of muck and floodwater.

Water bubbled up from a storm drain hidden in the center of the huge puddle as 7NEWS reporter Lance Hernandez reported from the area around 1 p.m. Friday. The puddle was ringed with gravel and red mud.

Street sweepers were driving in circles to pick up the mess and crews worked to clear the storm drains.

Elsewhere, at Peoria and Mexico, the ground under the pavement was washed away until about half a lane of the pavement collapsed into the wet ditch. That area was first reported closed at 5:20 p.m. Thursday.

"We are asking the public to stay off of Peoria," police said. A traffic light was also falling down in that area of Peoria.

Water in the nearby Utah Park reached a peak depth of about 12-feet.

Public schools were closed in Aurora Friday.

"The Aurora Police Department, the Cherry Creek School District and Aurora Public Schools have agreed to close all schools on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 in the interest of public safety due to conditions caused by the heavy rains," Aurora Police said on Facebook. "Pickens Technical College will also be closed along with all evening activities."

Everywhere in the city Friday, people were advised to "stay off roads unless absolutely necessary."

Aurora officials stressed that the city's drinking water is safe.

The Salvation Army had opened and evacuation shelter at 802 Quari Court, near Del Mar and Peoria.

Flooding has also forced the closure of East 17th Avenue as it runs into the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Aurora resident Ken Cherry told 7NEWS said he has a sinkhole that's about 10-feet deep and several feet wide in the back yard of his home at 1946 Paris St.

"It's huge and it's growing. It's coming close to my house," Cherry 7NEWS at 2:40 p.m. He said the sinkhole is growing north and south.

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