Downpour Drenches Drivers

Metro Area Was Under Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood warning for the Denver metro expired at 7:15 p.m.

Torrential rain fell over Denver, turning streets into canals and stranding dozens of drivers in high water.

The storm that produced the heavy rain was nearly stationary during the rush hour.Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated rainfall rates in excess of 2 inches per hour during the height of the storm.

At 4:25 p.m., Interstate 25 at Alameda was backed up because of high water in the northbound lanes. Cars were able to get through but very slowly. Other low-lying stretches of I-25 were also drenched.

A car sits abandoned in an industrial area near I-70 and Dahlia Wednesday evening.

At 5:15 p.m., several cars were stalled in high water on the off-ramp from Interstate 70 to Dahlia. There were a number of reports of stranded motorists in the industrial area around Dahlia and Holly. I-70 through the area was almost at a standstill at 5:30 p.m.

C-DOT brought in snow plows to try and move the rain off the interstate, 7NEWS reported.

Many other areas of the city also reported high water in low-lying areas. Denver police put the city on accident alert during the height of storm, which freed up officers to work on rush-hour traffic problems.

There were weather-related problems outside the metro area, too. A small rock slide was reported at the intersection of Highways 119 and 6 in Jefferson County, 7NEWS reported.

In Larimer County, officials issued a warning to residents living in Big Thompson Canyon, near the community of Drake Wednesday evening. They warned that all people living in the canyon and along the road from Drake to Glen Haven needed to be alert and leave immediately for higher ground, if the river rose to a point near the top of the banks.

"The wet weather is likely to continue overnight and into Thursday," said 7NEWS Meteorologist Richard Ortner. "These are very slow moving thunderstorms."

He said the rain will drop temperatures in the area, with Thursdays high only in the low 60s.

The drier weather won't move in until Monday, he said.

Flash Flood Warning Defined

A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent, or occurring. If you are in the warning area move to higher ground immediately. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely. Vehicles caught in rising water should be abandoned quickly. Move to higher ground.

Excessive runoff from this storm will cause flash flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.

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