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Douglas County declares disaster following Highlands Ranch tornado

Declaration opens the door for state support; Several sites open for tree debris drop-off

Posted on June 23, 2023 2023News and Events


To our Highlands Ranch community – you are not alone. As you clean up after Thursday’s storm, you likely have questions. Please read on for what we know now.

“We’re counting our blessings that there were no reported injuries nor deaths from Thursday’s storm. However, there was significant damage and debris,” said Commissioner Lora Thomas. “We’re working in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office, Highlands Ranch Metro District and the Highlands Ranch Community Association to help everyone affected.”

“The County has issued a disaster declaration to open the door for state support,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon. “In the meantime, we are working with the Highlands Ranch community to provide tree debris drop-off sites.”

Tree Debris Cleanup
Douglas County crews are working to clean up tree debris that is causing safety hazards along the sidewalk and in the roadway, starting with the hardest hit area, which is between Highlands Ranch Parkway and C-470 and from Broadway to Colorado.

Crews are also evaluating every street in Highlands Ranch to map damage, which will help inform the crews’ efforts. If you need to report a damaged traffic sign, you can do so online.

For those who have tree debris on their private property, there are two drop off sites available in Highlands Ranch – and more will be planned as needed. You can drop off anything that can be turned into mulch, such as tree branches or brush. Please do not bring fences nor root balls. This service is for Douglas County homeowners, not contractors. Anything larger than a typical trashcan load should go to these sites:

“We want our community to know that our crews are going street-by-street to evaluate the damage and prioritize recovery efforts,” said Commissioner George Teal. “We know cleaning up after this storm will be a shared responsibility among public entities and our individual homeowners.”

“Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the tornado that hit Highlands Ranch yesterday, but our community experienced quite a bit of damage,” said Highlands Ranch Metro District General Manager Stephanie Stanley. “Our staff and our partners are assessing the damage and our crews are coordinating repairs in our parks, along trails, and parkways along major roads. If people see a problem on public property, please report it through the Report a Concern link at www.highlandsranch.org. Updated resources and information are available at highlandsranch.org/stormdamage.”

“The HRCA’s residents are our top priority everyday, especially during a crisis like this. We are working with Douglas County and the Metro District in partnership to provide resources to residents for debris removal and covenant concerns. We are working to keep our website, HRCAonline.org, up to date as the best resource for the latest information,” said Mike Bailey, General Manager of the Highlands Ranch Community Association.

For current information and resources, visit HighlandsRanch.org/StormDamage. Additional updates will be provided as they are known.

For private property post-storm cleanup tips and information, read this information from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Please contact homeowners’ insurance for damage on your property. Please only call the Sheriff’s Office if you are experiencing an emergency.

“Our deputies and emergency personnel responded to this disaster with compassion and professionalism,” said Douglas County Undersheriff Dave Walcher. “They worked through the night to direct traffic, provide information, and clear roadways. The recovery phase has begun, and we’re working closely with the county and other agencies to provide support and resources.”

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