CatMan and I went for a bike ride today. It was "Bike to Work Day" so I wasn't sure it would be the best day to ride. We left around 2pm and we usually ride for around 4 hours so I figured the bike paths would be crowded on the way home. But since today was supposed to be the "good weather" day, we decided to brave the sea of humanity.
Since it was sorta hot and muggy we decided to ride west up Bear Creek towards Red Rocks. It was a lovely ride up to the top of Bear Creek Dam, and we stood around for a while chatting with a few other cyclists at the rest area at the top.
Then we noticed a storm blowing in over the foothills to our north and decided we'd better move along. Since the storm was to our north and moving east rather quickly, we decided that instead of just turning around and heading home, we'd have less chance of getting rained on if we rode about 10 miles south and hooked up with the South Platte at Chatfield.
So we headed southward and every time we'd peek over our shoulders at the storm, the clouds were bigger and blacker and more ominous looking. I didn't get a photo because honestly, we were just pedaling as fast as we could to try to stay south of the storm.
And we stayed completely dry until we got all the way to Chatfield - at which point we had to turn north. Within a mile or so the raindrops started falling and we ended up taking shelter in an underpass - one of the few that aren't flooded. It rained pretty hard for 30-40 minutes.
It was a good soaker to be sure, and I was good and grateful that we'd found shelter, but it wasn't really anything terribly out of the ordinary.
After about 45 minutes the rain slowed and we continued northward. It was around 5:45pm by then, so I was sorta expecting to see all of the "bike to workers" heading home, but we saw almost nobody. As we got further north we started to see tree branches down on the path, signs that had been blown over, and the few cyclists we did see looked a bit shell shocked.
It was clear that the storm had been worse in the northern part of the metro area, but even as I was riding home along the gulch by my home (which is still in South Denver), I could tell that a LOT of water had fallen.
This is the path I usually ride home.
It was still flooded in spots like this, but you could see by the bushes and grass that the water had been a good 3 feet higher at the peak of the storm.
At that point I detoured onto the streets where I started seeing a lot of cars with their hoods open and people trying to jump start them. Hmmm..
Anyhow, when I got home and turned on the news I learned just how bad it had been. Apparently the storm turned into a super cell that sat right over the city dumping over 2 inches of rain in less than an hour! There were trees down all over town, power outages, hail, and LOTS of flooding - even a few reports of people swept away in raging creeks and streams with water levels rising 4-5 feet in a matter of minutes. Fortunately, the hail missed my house, and there weren't any signs of damage.
But here are some photos I gathered from the web to show you what other folks in the city were dealing with:
|Starting to understand all the cars that wouldn't start...|
|Streets became rivers...|
|There's a bike path under there somewhere... and I think this is after|
the water levels had gone down a few feet...
|Happy Bike to Work Day!!! Those poor people!|
|I think this may be my neighborhood creek at the height of the flooding... |
not sure since the photo wasn't labeled, but it looks like it.
|Near CatMan's house... those cars aren't in the street, they're parked at the side!|
The sidewalks are totally flooded.
I did get a decent shot of the rainbow though...
Anyhow... I'm really, REALLY glad that we didn't ride north today, because if we had, this might have been a much different blog post. As it is, we just got a bit wet, and I can handle that!
Here's hoping the weather in your neck of the woods is a tad bit... um.... less noteworthy!