Saturday, July 11, 2009

Flashfloods Not Uncommon on Proposed Uranium Mining Site in CO


On June 22nd, 2009 a severe evening thunderstorm set off tornado warnings in Larimer and Weld Counties. A tornado touched down four miles west of Pierce and tornado sirens went off in Nunn an hour later. Four inches of rain fell in Laporte, 3 inches in northern Fort Collins, and over 2 in Wellington. That storm system hit Jay and Robin Davis’ home near Nunn at the base of Antelope Hill about 9pm, near where Powertech Uranium hopes to operate an in situ leach uranium mine.

Ms. Davis suspected what they could only hear, the wind sounding like a train running by their place, that a tornado system had come close to their home. While Davis’ rain gauge showed .91 inch of rain fell there, runoff from Antelope Hill still flooded their property, over filled their pond, and washed southeastward across Weld County Road 21, an event that they frequently witness following heavy rain and snow storms. It wasn’t until 1PM the following day Robin had an idea of how much water had come off of Antelope Hill and the surrounding areas filling an intermittent stream called Coalbank Creek.

Fifteen hours after the thunderstorm, dry Coalbank Creek was still moving floodwater and making many Weld County roads in the area impassible. Flattened vegetation and debris deposits showed how high the water levels had been on Coalbank Creek during the storm aftermath.

To see more photos, much like the Coles Hill area after hard rain, see

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