Centennial escapes major storm damage

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Addressing city councilmembers Sept. 16, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson was remarkably upbeat in his assessment of how the city weathered the preceding week's torrential rain and flooding.

A limited number of city businesses and residences experienced some “minor” basement flooding, but “all in all, Centennial's infrastructure held up nicely,” Robinson said, “particularly when you compare Centennial to some of the other areas just to the north of us like Aurora.”

Robinson credited “the folks who staff our EOC” (Emergency Operations Center) with helping to direct city resources to where they needed to go during the worst of the rain and flooding.

With the relatively light damage assessed and cleanup well underway, Robinson added that Arapahoe County has now “sent a lot of our resources to our friends in Boulder County — and I expect they could be there for a good long time.”

Dan Olsen, stormwater inspection manager for the Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority, told councilmembers that most of the city's retention ponds performed as designed during the long stretch of rain.

“We looked at hot spots, areas prone to flooding, and monitored them accordingly,” said Olsen. “City crews removed debris and tried to keep inlets free.”

The areas around Parker Road and Piney Creek “were the most challenging,” Olsen reported. “Some of the holding ponds did overflow their banks.”

Olsen said the intersection of Broncos Parkway and Parker Road “saw just a tremendous amount of water and hail — and handled it well.”

Some of the city's worst flooding, according to Olsen, occurred in east Centennial along Arapahoe Road near Cottonwood.

Robinson said two feet of hail was reported at the intersection of Parker and Quincy.

Mayor Cathy Noon expressed relief that the city had escaped major damage from the storm. “But it was really amazing to drive around and see all of the new ponds in the neighborhoods,” she said.

Councilman Voory Moon said he had received a number of reports of localized flooding from his constituents and ventured out himself one evening to witness what he described as “flash mobs watching flash floods with flashlights.”

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