On Monday evening, residents in the Messex area of Washington County, Colorado, were told by local law enforcement officials to evacuate the area after a levee on the Northeast Colorado River was breached. Over the last few days, heavy rainfall in the area has pushed the water in the Colorado River up a few feet, causing widespread flash floods.
Washington County Emergency Manager Mike McCaleb sent evacuation notices to at least 15 homes, citing the oncoming floods due to the breached levee. He also stated the flood water is currently heading towards the railroad tracks in the middle of the area, which will push more water towards the town of Messex. McCaleb said this resembles a similar incident that occurred in 2013 after heavy rainfall hit the area and caused the river to rise.
Five to six homes in the area are expected to see at least some flood damage. The rising water will reach Messex by tonight, according to McCaleb.
Washington County authorities have provided the townspeople sandbags to create a barrier between their homes and the rising waters. Residents were seen building up piles of dirt in front of their homes.
Water levels in the Colorado River have been running very high for this time of the season, due a month of consistent heavy rainfall. Storms are forecast in the are through tomorrow.
By Alex Lemieux
9 News Colorado: Homes evacuated after levy breaks near Messex
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Merz’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License