June 16: Hail and Flash Flooding

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The Dyer family had to get out the snow shovels on the west side of Colorado Springs after a severe thunderstorm moved through on June 16, 2019.

A thunderstorm strengthened over western Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs as it moved off the foothills Sunday afternoon. Several reports of 1 inch diameter hail were received, stretching from the Air Force Academy to near the Broadmoor.

The bigger impact was actually the amount of small hail that accompanied the storm. Many areas had to get out snow shovels to move the hail, that in some cases piled up between 6-12″ west of downtown Colorado Springs.

Very heavy rain also came with the storm on Sunday afternoon, dropping more than 2″ in and around the Ivywild neighborhood to the south of downtown. The combination of rain and hail in such a short period of time overwhelmed some of the urban drainage systems and several intersections around I-25 and south Nevada looked more like rivers as flash flooding occurred.

The image above is from a stream gauge at Fountain Creek south of downtown.

The image above shows how quickly local creeks can rise when heavy storms drop that much water in a short period of time. In just 20 minutes late Sunday, Fountain Creek rose more than 4 feet on the south side of the Colorado Springs metro area.

During heavy thunderstorm days, be aware in low-lying spots, poor drainage areas and ditch playing in ditches. Never drive your car across a flooded road. As little as a foot of water can float certain cars and you never know if the road has been washed out or not.

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