NewsLocal News


Flash flooding also hits City Park area of Denver Sunday

Several flood mitigation projects have been completed in the area over the past few years
city park flooding
Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 20:16:36-04

Along with parts of I-70 on the Central 70 Project stretch, Colorado Blvd. and 23rd Ave. was also underwater after Sunday night’s downpour.

“It looked like you were on the seashore,” said Leland Leard, who lives on Colorado Blvd. just north of 23rd Ave.

Sunday night’s flooding event has triggered a debate about whether the redesign of City Park Golf Course is working. The $40 million makeover, which was completed last year, included flood retention ponds. The course is designed to take on water so that neighboring houses and streets don’t.

Flash flooding also hits City Park area of Denver Sunday

“What we predicted would happen happened,” said councilwoman Candi CdeBaca who represents District 9 which is where City Park Golf Course is located. “It didn’t work.”

CdeBaca says she’s furious about the city and state spending billions in taxpayer funds on City Park and the Central 70 Project, collectively, to prevent flooding, and yet both flooded Sunday.

“There were several mitigation projects that were designed specifically to prevent the flooding – and every single one of them is done – and we had flooding,” she said. “And it wasn’t even a 100-year flood. I think there was a failure at every line of defense. “

Leard agrees with CdeBaca about the failure but is more forgiving of the situation.

“It clearly it didn’t work,” Leard said. “Given the extremes of weather we have here in Denver, there’s just a limit on perhaps what you can do. That’s what I think we ran up against. In this case there was an enormous amount of hail that came down first and filled the sewers and then after that – the rain just kept coming and coming and coming. It had nowhere to go because the hail was acting as an ice dam.”

The retention pond at City Park was seen on video with water inside of it and flowing in from pipes, but CdeBaca said it didn’t work fully as intended.

“These are situations that should not happen so soon after these projects are completed,” CdeBaca said. “And I’m going to continue sounding the alarm. When you consider climate change, we need to have civil engineers building for much more rare, catastrophic circumstances that we’re anticipating to happen more frequently now.”