Authorities are just beginning to ascertain the extent of the recent floods' damage to the vast network of oil and natural gas operations on the Front Range. KDNK's Ed Williams flew with Ecoflight over the damaged areas in Weld County, where thousands of oil and gas sites were swamped by the flood water and brings this report.
Related: St. Vrain River now flows through Front Range town of Lyons; Former EPA official sees a lesson in unprecedented floods; Devastated communities struggling with historic floods
The recent historic floods have displaced countless front-range residents, affected more than 200 miles of roads and left at least 5 dead. And as floodwaters recede, questions arise about contamination and about how affected communities will rebuild. On this week's news brief, KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Maeve Conran, co-director of news for KGNU, about what she's seen over the last week.
The town of Lyons in Boulder County is one of the areas hardest hit by recent floods. The entire population of just over 2000 people were asked to leave as all services have been destroyed. There is no water, sewage, electricity or gas in the town and most of the bridges that connect the town north and south have been destroyed. All residents have been asked to leave to allow officials to assess damage and begin reconstruction. KGNU's Maeve Conran spoke with town administrator Victoria Simonsen by the banks of the St. Vrain, which now charts a new course through the town.
Click through to our news archives to hear more about the recovery efforts in Lyons.
Thousands of natural gas wells in Weld County remain inundated by floodwater, days after the devastating rains that decimated much of the front range. As of noon today, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was tracking 10 oil spills in flood-affected areas. Two of those the COGCC classifies as "notable". Both are spills from Anadarko storage tanks, and together have spilled almost 20 thousand gallons of oil into the floodwaters.
Ecoflight flew KDNK’s Ed Williams over Weld County to report on the damage to the fracking infrastructure. Here he talks to Weston Wilson, former EPA official and natural gas expert, about the impact of the floods.