Dinner-time deluge hits Grand Junction

A Colorado State Patrol trooper rolls a boulder out of the roadway after a cloudburst sent several large rocks careening down from the Bookcliffs onto westbound I-70 east of the Palisade exit Friday.

You have to go back 110 years to find a wetter June 26 in Grand Junction.

Rainfall early evening Friday flooded several Grand Junction-area streets, homes and businesses.

After the dinner-time storm pounded the area with pea-sized hail, the total precipitation recorded at Grand Junction Regional Airport, where the National Weather Service compiles its official count, was 0.68 inch.

“That puts us in second place for the wettest June 26th,” said Dan Cuevas, a technician with the Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The soggiest June 26 on record was in 1899, when 0.94 inch fell.

The rain flooded a small stretch of Patterson Road between 12th and 15th streets. Nearby, a storm drain at Spring Valley Park II overflowed and turned the facility into a small lake.

“We’ve got about 5 inches in our backyard,” said Bonnie Beckstein, a Grand Junction City Councilwoman who was watching rising waters near her home in the Spring Valley subdivision.

Kadee Anderson, a front desk clerk at Doubletree Hotel along Horizon Drive, said she was walking in the hallway around 6:30 p.m. when she encountered a small stream slipping under a door on the northeast corner of the building.

Cleanup crews were still working there as of 9 p.m.

State highway crews and the Colorado State Patrol were called out Friday evening when several hundred-to-thousand-pound rocks tumbled down De Beque Canyon, rolling into the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 around mile marker 43. At the same time, officials were monitoring a minor mudslide near I-70 at Exit 42.

Although the weather raised havoc in some areas Friday, the Grand Valley has had wetter Junes. Total precipitation this June stands at 1.12 inches.

“That doesn’t even put us close to being in the top 10,” Cuevas said.

Tenth place was in 1945 when the month of June saw 1.32 inches.

The total for this June isn’t likely to climb much more. Sunshine is forecast this weekend and early next week, with high temperatures likely to surpass 90 degrees Sunday through Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.


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