After a Noble Energy storage tank that spilled 178 barrels -- about 7,500 gallons -- of oil into the Poudre River was discovered June 20, questions arose about how vulnerable some oil and gas facilities are to flood damage.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has estimated [.pdf] that "more than 5,900 oil and gas wells lie within 500 feet of a Colorado waterway that is substantial enough to be named."
Parts of Southeast Colorado are experiencing a longer period of drought than the dry times that occurred during the Dust Bowl.
According to Nolan Doesken, the state climatologist, the past three years and eight months have been the driest stretch ever recorded for some parts of the state, including Rocky Ford, La Junta and Ordway.
"It was drier than the worst consecutive drought period of the 30s and of the 50s," said Doesken.