Denver7 | Weather


Storm damage leaves downed trees in Highlands Ranch, Gov. Polis approves disaster emergency declaration

Flooding in other areas leaves many without power
Posted: 2:35 PM, Jun 22, 2023
Updated: 2023-06-22 22:52:51-04
Highlands Ranch tornado damage - Yvonne and Anthony Madrid 1.jpeg
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DENVER — Flooding due to already saturated ground will again be a concern for much of the metro and the plains through midnight Thursday as another round of severe weather makes its way, bringing along large hail, heavy rainfall, and possible tornadoes.

Hail up to two inches in diameter and wind gusts up to 70 mph are possible Thursday across the I-25 corridor and the plains, with isolated tornadoes also possible eastward.

A flood watch is now in effect through midnight for the Denver metro area and extending south and east over the Palmer Divide, Washington county, Morgan, Southern Washington and Arapahoe and Adams counties.

Parts of northeastern Colorado, from Colorado Springs all the way north to Wyoming, including the Eastern Plains all the way to Sterling and parts of Nebraska, were also now under a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m.

Another round of severe weather for eastern Colorado Thursday

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Below, you can find updates related to traffic and weather as the storm moves through. Refresh this page for the latest.

Thursday, June 22

8:30 p.m. | Severe thunderstorm warning | The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Littleton, Englewood and Sheridan until 9 p.m.

8:20 p.m. | Highlands Ranch tornado deemed an EF-1 | The National Weather Service has deemed in its preliminary assessment that the tornado that touched down in Highlands Ranch was an EF-1.

6 p.m. | Storm damage update | South Metro Fire Rescue and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office received hundreds of calls as severe weather moved across the Denver metro area, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Thankfully, authorities have not received any injury reports.

Watch the full press storm damage update below:

Authorities provide update on damage from severe weather

5:50 p.m. | Tornado path | The NWS has released a preliminary track of the tornado that touched down in Highlands Ranch.

5:45 p.m. | Gov. Polis approves disaster emergency declaration | Gov. Jared Polis approved a verbal declaration of disaster emergency for extreme weather this afternoon related to severe weather in Lincoln, Elbert, El Paso, and Washington counties.

The declaration authorizes "the use of funds and permits the use of Special Delegation of State Controller’s Contract Signature Authority, and allows Colorado OEM to mobilize state resources, and encumber and expend these funds as determined by the Director of the OEM," according to the state OEM.

5:36 p.m. | Weather | A flash flood warning is in effect for Elizabeth, Kiowa and Elbert until 8:45 p.m., the NWS says.

4:51 p.m. | The storm as seen in Castle Rock | Check out this time lapse of today's storm as seen from Castle Rock:

4:47 p.m. | Severe thundestorm damage in Highlands Ranch | Here's a look at some of the severe thunderstorm damage from Highlands Ranch, courtesy of Scripps News reporter Clayton Sandell.

4:27 p.m. | Severe thunderstorm warning | Tennis ball-sized hail is possible in Elbert, Colorado, until 5:15 p.m. A tornado is also possible, according to the NWS.

4:24 p.m. | Xcel Energy outages | Xcel Energy is reporting that 9,576 customers are without power around the Denver metro area. Click here to see its outage map.

4:14 p.m. | Tornado touches down in Highlands Ranch | A timelapse of severe weather in Highlands Ranch shows rotation activity before a tornado touched down in the area.

4:13 p.m. | Storm-related damage in Highlands Ranch | South Metro Fire is responding to dozens of calls in Highlands Ranch south of C-470 between Lucent and Quebec for storm-related damage including roof damage, trees down, natural gas leaks and electrical problems. There are no reports of any injuries so far.

4:08 p.m | Red Rocks show delayed | The Shakey Graves concert at Red Rocks scheduled has been moved to 6 p.m., amphitheater officials say.

4:05 p.m. | Weather | Two-inch sized hail is possible in Elizabeth, Kiowa and Franktown until 4:45 p.m., the NWS says. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect.

4:02 p.m. | Tornado warnings lifted | All tornado warnings have been lifted by the National Weather Service.

3:59 p.m. | Flooding | An advisory has been issued for the areas of Geer Canyon/Lefthand Creek due to potential flooding in Boulder County, the sheriff's office says. People are asked to not call 911 unless they are in danger.

3:57 p.m. | Xcel Energy outages | Xcel Energy is reporting that 7,391 customers are without power around the Denver metro area. Click here to see its outage map.

3:49 p.m. | Tornado touches down in Lone Tree | A "large and extremely dangerous tornado" was located over Lone Tree, moving east at 15 mph at 3:48 p.m., per the NWS.

The tornado will be near Castle Pines around 3:55 p.m. and over Parker around 4:05 p.m., officials say.

3:47 p.m. | Storm damage in Highlands Ranch | South Metro Fire Rescue is responding to multiple calls in Highlands Ranch- including possible storm damage.

3:40 p.m. | Tornado touches down in Highlands Ranch | A confirmed “large and extremely dangerous tornado was located over northeastern Highlands Ranch,” per the NWS. The tornado is moving southeast at 15 mph.

3:33 p.m. | Weather | Warning sirens have been activated in Lakewood "because of the potential for highly destructive hail," police said in a tweet. If you're in the area, stay inside. Do not go outdoors.

3:23 p.m. | Tornado warning | A tornado warning is effect for Arapahoe and Douglas counties until 4 p.m., according to the NWS.

3:15 p.m. | Weather | A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Centennial, Littleton and Englewood until 4 p.m. Tennis ball-sized hail is possible, the NWS says.

3:01 p.m. | Weather | "Destructive baseball-sized hail" is possible for Denver, Lakewood, and Littleton until 3:45 p.m. "People and animals outdoors will be severely injured," an emergency alert from the NWS says.

2:54 p.m. | Weather | Baseball-sized hail is possible for parts of Lakewood, Indian Hills, and Morrison until 3:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

2:15 p.m. | Weather | A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Lakewood, Arvada and Wheat Ridge until 3 p.m. Thursday, the NWS says. Golden, Morrison, and Evergreen are also included in the warning.

1:40 p.m. | Weather | The National Weather Service (NWS) says "conditions are coming together" for very large hail to hit Denver in the next 2-4 hours.

12:52 p.m. | Weather | Another round of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected again Thursday afternoon through the evening, with the potential for flash flooding across parts of the Denver metro and the Eastern Plains due to already saturated ground, forecasters with the National Weather Service said earlier in the day. Read the forecast here.

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