STERLING, Colorado — A mandatory evacuation order was issued Sunday for residents in the Globe Meadows area after the North Sterling Reservoir inlet ditch spilled over its banks following weeks of heavy rains that left many places in Colorado soggy over the Memorial Day weekend.
Residents braced for another round on Sunday after a flash-flood watch was issued for Sunday afternoon. Thunderstorms could produce another 1 to 2 inches of rain in less than an hour, the National Weather Service said.
The Northeast Public Affairs Collaborative issued a statement saying people went door-to-door and emergency notification calls were placed to homes on the north side of Sterling before dawn on Sunday. The Sterling Police Department and Sterling Fire Department used large rescue vehicles to help with the evacuations.
The Colorado Air National Guard was called in to assess the damage, public affairs spokeswoman Deanna Herbert said.
Emergency officials warned residents not to travel across flooded roads or cross posted barriers.
An evacuation shelter was opened by the Red Cross in Sterling, and 27 people sought shelter. Several rescues were reported, but no details were available. There were no reports of injuries.
In Summit County, water is being drained out of Dillon Reservoir to make room for more runoff, which is good news for people in other Western states along the Colorado River.
The Dillon Reservoir is a big source of Denver's water supply. But with the Mile High City and Front Range saturated, almost all of the water is heading west.
"It's really good news for the people in Lake Powell and Lake Mead and downstream that could really use the water," Dillon Marina manager Bob Evans said.
On the Western Slope, the forecast is for more rain through Monday, with snow at higher elevations.
Officials in El Paso and Pueblo counties said they will ask Gov. John Hickenlooper for a disaster declaration after being pounded by rain and flooding over the past three weeks.
"We need some sort of help," said Tracy Tolle, who farms for Frank Masciantonio in Pueblo County and Clear Springs Ranch in El Paso County. "That's our livelihood."
Some campgrounds across the state were closed, and some campsites were off limits because of the soggy ground. Most campgrounds were still open, and people were showing up to enjoy the outdoors, parks officials said.
In Colorado Springs, groundwater was so high it seeped into home basements, damaging carpets and floors.
In Boulder County, farmers are battling through one of the wettest springs in 20 years, weary of conditions that have made it almost impossible to plant some crops and raising concerns about having to lay off workers.