Rain and hail pound El Paso and Teller counties
Jim Stack grew up in Nebraska and experienced a variety of storms. But never in his 40-plus years had he experienced anything like what occurred on Aug. 22 when a ferocious rain and hail storm slammed parts of El Paso and Teller counties.
“I’ve never seen that much rain at one time and I’ve never seen hail last as long as it did,” Stack said.
At about 5:15 p.m., Stack arrived at The Classical Academy north campus to help coach football practice. He is a home inspector and roof inspector, as well as the offensive line coach for TCA.
TCA is located on Stout Road, just west of Voyager Parkway - about a mile south of Northgate Boulevard.
By the time Stack arrived at the school, dark storm clouds were brewing overhead with lighting and thunder several miles to the east and northeast. At that point, practice was still a go.
But by 5:30 p.m., TCA head coach David Bervig made the call to move practice indoors. As players and coaches scrambled to put equipment in nearby sheds a heavy down poor began.
“It was a hard rain followed by pea-sized hail,” Stack said. “The hail stopped after a little while, then it started raining again, and all of the sudden marble-sized hail came down. When I looked across the football field a few minutes later it was completely covered in white.
“Things let up after about an hour, but the water in the surrounding areas was a minimum 6 inches deep.”
The relentless rain and hail storm pounded parts of El Paso and Teller counties and forced the closure of northbound Interstate 25. It also caused Highway 24 to close in both directions.
“We got a lot of rain, but I didn’t see a lot of damage,” said Craig Fleischmann, who lives near Fox Run Park in unincorporated El Paso County. “Along Baptist Road the water was going over road. At my house it was flooding over the gutters.”
It took Fleischmann two and a half hours to get home from his office in Denver, near Littleton. He took Highway 85 south and picked up the freeway in Castle Rock. From there the drive home got even slower.
“We’ve lived in our house for 15 years and that’s the most rain I’ve seen since we moved in,” Fleischmann said. “I’ve never seen a sustained rain like that in the (30-plus years) I’ve lived in this area.”
Fleischmann added that it was still raining hard at his house when he went to bed around midnight.
According to the National Weather Service in Pueblo, a weather spotter about five miles southeast of Monument recorded 3.12 inches of rain by 7 p.m.
The rain caused several streets across the Pikes Peak region to close because of flooding; including portions of Voyager Parkway near North Gate Blvd. Businesses in that area reported that business was slower than usual because of the storm.
Nanette Anderson, the public information officer for Academy District 20, was in contact with schools in the North Gate area regarding possible damage. She said there were no reports of damage, but that there was still standing water in some areas as late as 3 p.m.