If you live in Northern Colorado or the Front Range and it feels like this summer has been wetter than normal, it's not your imagination.
Some parts of Weld County, including Greeley, have had twice as much rainfall this July as normal. Since May, much of the county has had about 9 inches of rain, also double what is expected for this period.
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."
As temperatures rise, many flock to rivers and streams to cool off. Northern Colorado safety officials are urging “extreme caution” as rivers swell from their banks with higher-than-average snowpack. In the span of two weeks, three have died in the Poudre River due to the unsafe conditions.
High water continues to move through Greeley, although Greeley officials say current river levels have dropped slightly since Tuesday afternoon. Several roads in and around Greeley remain closed, and all voluntary evacuation notices remain in effect.