Basalt hit with downpour that swamps some homes in Elk Run
August 4, 2017
A deluge hit Basalt on Friday afternoon, swamping some homes on the east side of Elk Run subdivision, covering the streets with reddish brown slime and turning the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan River into flowing mocha.
The storm hit at about 2:30 p.m., and the ground turned white from hail, then a torrent of rain fell for about 15 minutes.
About six homes took in some amount of water, according to Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott.
"As people come home we might find more," he said.
Water seeped into homes on Red Tail Court, Kestrel Court, Hearthstone Drive and Village Court. A home on Red Tail Court took the brunt of water flowing off the hillside, across a pasture and into the subdivision streets. The house had about two feet of water in the lower level, according to authorities. A woman was home at the time.
"She said it broke the window, then water started flowing in," Knott said. She relocated to a friend's house.
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Basalt Deputy Fire Chief Peter Bradshaw said it appeared the water flowed into a window well and built up pressure until the glass broke. Water gushed into the lower level of the home and was nearly knee high, Bradshaw said. The firefighters pumped the water out. None of the other houses had enough water to require getting pumped out, he said. Utilities also were shut off at some of the houses.
"Of the homes we know of with water, there's no injuries of any kind," Knott said.
He said a neighboring ranch turned off its irrigation ditches so it wouldn't add to the problem.
A second wave of the storm rolled through at about 3:30 p.m.
After the storms had passed through, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory for the midvalley, covering parts of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties.
Some of the streets in Elk Run were coated with as much as 6 inches of mud. Public works director Boyd Bierbaum said the slop was so saturated it was difficult to load into trucks because it ran out the back. Street crews were clearing the mud as best they could Friday. They will be back Monday to get the grime off the streets.