Pueblo pummeled, flash floods strand drivers

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PUEBLO, Colo. — Slow-moving thunderstorms with heavy rain moved from Cañon City east across Pueblo on Monday, causing a number of problems along the way.

Two people were injured by separate lightning strikes in Cañon City. A man on the south end of town was struck by lightning and taken to a hospital by ambulance. An 11-year-old girl was struck by lightning downtown and was also rushed to a hospital. The injuries were not expected to be life-threatening.

The storm continued east from Cañon City across eastern Fremont County, dropping more than an inch of rain in several areas. The National Weather Service received a report of 1.43″ in about 40 minutes in Penrose.

As the cell entered Pueblo, another storm moved up from the south and collided into the original cell, helping to increase the rain rates. At the same time, an outflow boundary from an earlier storm in El Paso County ran into the cluster and helped elongate the heavy rain across the south side of town.

Rhonda Gasparetti took this photo of several flooded intersections in downtown Pueblo Monday, July 1, 2019.

As is typically the case with thunderstorms, the impacts and rain amounts vary widely over some pretty small areas.

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network is a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation in their local communities. These reports tell the story of Monday’s rain in Pueblo. Note the central and southern part of the city received more than an inch in several locations. Much of this fell in about 40 minutes.

CoCoRaHS reports for Monday, July 1. CoCoRaHS reports are submitted each morning at 7am. cocorahs.org

Cars were stranded in high water at 8th and Reading, and more than two feet of water covered the intersection at City Center Drive and Santa Fe Avenue. Strong wind gusts in excess of 60 mph also knocked down a number of trees (6″ to 12″ in diameter) at the courthouse in the downtown area. Plenty of small hail with the storms obliterated yards and gardens in the area.

More heavy rain producing storms are in the forecast for Tuesday, although the atmosphere should dry out as we move toward the Independence Day holiday.

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