Storms cause damage, leave thousands without power in metro area

DENVER — People are waking up to damage from Monday night’s rain and hail across the Denver metro area.

Mother Nature put on a light show throughout the area with an impressive amount of lightning that was accompanied by thunder, rain, wind and hail.

In the area around the University of Denver, a tree fell on top of a home, but there is not much time to clean up. Storms are expected every day this week as monsoon season starts.

“It was scary enough; everyone was just like, ‘We’re gonna leave and get to our cars before it gets really bad,” said Emily Winslow, who left during a weather delay at the Rockies game at Coors Field on Monday night and came home to a tree on her patio on South Williams Street near Evans Avenue.

Her roommate was home when the tree came crashing down.

“She said it was really loud,” Winslow said. “I have a dog inside; she was going crazy.”

No one was hurt.

Track the storms here.

Strong winds also did some damage in Aurora, where viewer Joel Dusek sent in a photo after winds flipped a trampoline and carried it about a block away.

Others such as Sharlotte Mecca on the Eastern Plains in Byers were more worried about the lightning. In Castle Pines, firefighters say lightning struck a home on Shoreham Drive about 10 p.m., causing a small fire in the attic.

The storms caused thousands of power outages throughout the metro area, with more than 11,000 affected at 10 p.m. Monday. As of 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Xcel Energy’s outage map showed more than 4,000 still without power.

If you’ve ever had a close encounter with lightning you know it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially in your home.

“That’s where you see the catastrophic damage and fire,” said Paul Svenson with the National Lightning Protection Corporation, adding the most vulnerable areas include your TV, computer and satellite dish.

“It’ll blow up your TV or your microwave or you know if you have low voltage lighting any of those types of systems, it can just destroy them,” he said.

One way to protect your property is to install small spries outside your home but it will cost you about $500.

If you can’t afford that, Svenson says you can find a small surge protector for about $20.

With a cold front coming through, temperatures will drop into the low 80s on Tuesday after Denver International Airport reached a high of 100 degrees Monday. But more storms are in the forecast this week.