Flooding and debris close parts of I-25, multiple roads see flash flooding

It’s another afternoon of severe weather.
3 min. read
Crews pump out and clean up 38th Avenue where it passes underneath railroad bridges and Interstate 25 in Denver after flooding caused by heavy rain and hail Thursday afternoon, June 29, 2023.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Updated at 7:13 p.m. on 6/29/2023

Heavy rainfall and flooding has already caused flooding in the Denver metro while more is expected overnight.

"We do have crews out responding to flooding that they are seeing or hearing about and working to clear clogged storm drains to keep water flowing," Nancy Kuhn, director for Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said.

"In some places, what we are seeing is that the storm drain system became overwhelmed in receiving a lot of rain in a short period of time and it needs a little time to drain," she said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says southbound lanes of I-25 near 23rd Ave. has been closed due to washed dirt and debris. Crews are on scene with plows clearing the debris.

Dirt covers lanes on Interstate 25 on June 29. 2023.
Colorado Department of Transportation

CDOT spokesperson Tamara Rollison said the state has crews on the scene working on cleanup.

"What happened is flooding in the area caused a large amount of dirt to block two of the lanes," she said. "It's going to be slow going in that area because of that."

In the city, 38th and Fox was a trouble spot, as well as various intersections in West Highland.

A severe thunderstorm was reported 20 miles southwest of Denver. The area which includes Roxborough Park was forecast to receive quarter-size hail. Downtown Denver saw pea-sized hail earlier this afternoon.

A tornado watch remains in effect until 9 p.m. for metro Denver and Northern Colorado up into Wyoming and Nebraska.

It includes the following counties:

  • Adams
  • Arapahoe
  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Denver
  • Douglas
  • Elbert
  • Jefferson
  • Larimer
  • Logan
  • Morgan
  • Washington
  • Weld

National Weather Service Meteorologist David Bargenbruch says the area is at risk of tornadoes due to a large unstable air mass moving across Northeast Colorado.

"We typically don't see that much around here, across the Colorado Front Range. But, this year it has been persistent and that has resulted in a lot of severe thunderstorms across I 25 corridor and Denver and points to the north and east," Bargenbruch said.

Tennis ball-sized hail is expected for the area.

38th Avenue closed where it passes under I-25 and railroads after heavy rain on June 29, 2023.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

The weather has also affected flights at Denver International Airport.

FlightAware has reported 181 cancellations and 729 delays as of 6:22 p.m. A spokesperson DIA says they are monitoring the weather and have been in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Flash flooding is occurring around the Denver Metro.

If you're traveling home from work, avoid Exit 221 of I-25 at 23rd Ave., which is flooding. The Colorado Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (CDOT) has closed two right lanes due to flooding and is predicting 15 minute delays.

Speer Ave. is currently pouring water onto I-25, with flooding near Ball Arena and Auraria Parkway. I-25 northbound near 13th Ave. is also flooding, with CDOT predicting 37 minute delays. And the intersection at 29th and Federal in West Highland has seen flash flooding.

Adams, Denver and Jefferson Counties are both under flood advisories through 5:30, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). NWS is also reporting a severe thunderstorm warning for the three counties and a tornado watch through 9 p.m.

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