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PHOTOS: Flooding in Colorado sparks concern about flooded oil and gas tanks

by Cassady Craighill

September 23, 2013

Waters recede around a washed out bridge on Colorado Highway 34 over the South Platte River in Greeley. Six months average rainfall fell over several days in the Colorado foothills caused record flooding in the area.

© Bob Pearson / Greenpeace

As floodwaters recede in Colorado, the cleanup now begins for Colorado residents including contamination from oil and gas well spills. Footage revealed two dozen overturned oil storage tanks from the flooding.

Colorado has approximately 50,000 oil and gas wells. Stored in these tanks and wells are contaminated wastewater full of the chemicals and toxics using during the fracking process. That wastewater is now suspected to have leaked into water and soil after the floods.

Sewage and other contaminants also threaten Colorado’s water sources as a result of the flooding.

A washed-out bridge near Highway 287 and Dillon Road in Lafayette. Flood damage was wide-spread up and down the Colorado Front Range from heavy rains.

A washed-out bridge near Highway 287 and Dillon Road in Lafayette. Flood damage was wide-spread up and down the Colorado Front Range from heavy rains.

A section of rail line is twisted and damaged following recent floods in Longmont.

A section of rail line is twisted and damaged following recent floods in Longmont.

Jan Alford cleans some furniture from her flooded home

Jan Alford cleans some furniture from her flooded home

Waters recede around a washed out bridge on Colorado Highway

Waters recede around a washed out bridge on Colorado Highway

Flood waters remain standing over a wide area of the South Platte River valley near Greeley.

Flood waters remain standing over a wide area of the South Platte River valley near Greeley.

Flood waters recede from an oil operation by the South Platte River near Greeley

Flood waters recede from an oil operation by the South Platte River near Greeley

Debris lies in the riverbed of the South Platte River

Debris lies in the riverbed of the South Platte River

Flood waters cover a large farm on the South Platte River near Greeley

Flood waters cover a large farm on the South Platte River near Greeley

An oil operation remains under water

An oil operation remains under water

An oil operation remains under water by a washed-out rail line on the South Platte River near Greeley

An oil operation remains under water by a washed-out rail line on the South Platte River near Greeley

Residents clear their houses of debris

Residents clear their houses of debris

Colorado Flooding (2013)

A bridge on Sunset Street is collapsed following record flooding from the St. Vrain River in Longmont.

A bridge on Sunset Street is collapsed following record flooding from the St. Vrain River in Longmont.

Portions of a bridge remain standing after flood waters from the St. Vrain River washed through Longmont.

Portions of a bridge remain standing after flood waters from the St. Vrain River washed through Longmont.

A man carries a load of ruined drywall as residents clear their houses of debris

A man carries a load of ruined drywall as residents clear their houses of debris

See more photos of the flooding in Colorado.

How should you prepare for a flood?

Cassady Craighill

By Cassady Craighill

Cassady is a media officer for Greenpeace USA based on the East Coast. She covers climate change and energy, particularly how both issues relate to the Trump administration.

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