DENVER (AP) — Most residents of the Colorado Front Range don't pay much attention to the small streams that typically trickle past on their way from the mountains to the plains.
But that was before this past week, when more than a foot of rain from a storm system hung up on the Rocky Mountains supercharged those streams with a deadly force. The state now faces a long recovery from widespread devastation and four people confirmed dead.
Weather experts say the storm system was a rare event.
State climatologist Nolan Doesken says it started with an unusually moist air mass. That met a sprawling wind pattern that kept pushing the mass up against the Rocky Mountain foothills. The air rose, condensed, fell as rain and kept repeating.