Flash flood severely damages homes between Palisade and Clifton

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PALISADE, Colo. A flash food damaged many homes on F 3/4 Road and 34 Roads Thursday afternoon between Clifton and Palisade. The Mesa County Sheriff's Office reports that the flood extended as far south as Front Street and 35 Road.

An excess of rain coming off of the Bookcliffs caused an irrigation ditch in the area to swell and overflow, flooding roads, yards, and homes in the area.

"I just got done watching my soap opera I walked out my front door and lo and behold we have a pool,” said resident Kathy Hamberg. I always wanted a pool but not quite like this"

The last thing Kathy Hamberg expected to see when she looked outside her front door - her yard completely underwater, hit by a flash flood that ravaged her neighborhood.

"I'm just devastated,” said Hamberg. “We have a ditch across the street from us but it’s not overflowing so I have no idea how this happened."

But her neighbor Elmer Fitzpatrick knows exactly how it happened.

"We get the rain water off the book cliffs and it comes down the Bosley Wash,” said Fitzpatrick. “The Boshley Wash can’t handle the amount of water through the culverts and it starts going over the culverts and over the road and it starts flooding the area.”

Fitzpatrick wasn't home for the initial downpour but as soon as his wife called, he says he knew what was in store.

"I thought oh no, there goes the yard,” said Fitzpatrick.

over his 26 years in the neighborhood he says he's seen four flash floods.

"We got wiped out two times in a row,” said Fitzpatrick. “It took us a couple years to get it flushed out to where the silt wasn't damaging our property.”

The silt covers the neighborhood in a thick layer until it dries and can be shoveled out.

Luckily, Fitzpatrick came prepared this time, with a berm that he built up around his property.

"If it hadn't of been there it would have wiped us out again,” said Fitzpatrick.

Despite the muddy messes over the years, he says he's not going anywhere.

"I love the area,” he says. “This is home. This is home. You just have to deal with what you get.”

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