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The top 9 news stories of 2013 in Colorado

8:27 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - As Coloradans prepare to welcome 2014, it would be impossible to forget the headlines and moments that touched our state throughout 2013. 

The most looked at page on during 2013 was a slideshow featuring viewer photos of the devastating Colorado Floods in September. It was viewed more than 20 million times. 


1. "3 dead, 1 missing after catastrophic flooding"

The night of Sept. 11, flash flooding across the state turned deadly. Over the next week, flooding killed eight people and damaged or destroyed as many as 2,000 homes.

It washed out hundreds of miles of roads and left many small mountain towns completely cut off from the rest of the state. 

The floods caused damage across nearly 2,000 square miles of Colorado.

During the peak of the flooding during Sept 9 to 15, an all-time record precipitation was recorded across the Front Range.

2. "Black Forest Fire Day 1: Fire burning in Black Forest, homes lost"

On Tuesday, June 10, a massive fire ignited in Colorado's Black Forest community.

Over the 10 days before it was fully contained, the fire destroyed 509 homes and charred more than 22 square miles of land.

The fire's fight cost more than $8.5 million and claimed the lives of Marc Allen Herklotz, 52, and his wife, 50-year-old Robin Lauran Herklotz.

Investigators still have not determined what caused the deadly blaze.

3. "Tornado touches down near Denver International Airport"

The 9NEWS newstip emails were inundated with photos and videos from travelers at Denver International Airport on June 18.

The tornado touched down just after 2 p.m. but did not cause any significant damage or injuries. 

4. "1 shot, gunman dead at Arapahoe High School"

The afternoon of Friday, Dec. 13 in Centennial forever changed a community.

An 18-year-old student gunman entered an unlocked door at Arapahoe High School and began shooting in the school's library.

Claire Davis, a 17-year-old student, was fatally wounded by the shotgun blasts and died days later in the hospital.

The shooter later took his own life.

5. "5 hikers killed in Chaffee County rockslide near Mt. Princeton"

A family of five was killed when a rockslide trapped them while they were hiking in Chaffee County on Sept 30.

Dwayne Johnson, his wife Dawna, their daughter Kiowa and two nephews were killed when boulders the size of vehicles tumbled down onto them.

The only survivor was Dwayne and Dawna's other daughter, 13-year-old Gracie Johnson.

6. "Officers arrested in Boulder elk shooting"

On New Year's Day 2013, two Boulder Police officers photographed themselves with a dead Big Boy Elk in the Boulder neighborhood of Mapleton.

Police reports indicated the two had joked about killing the elk, which was known to roam the neighborhood, while on duty Jan 1.

In September, one of the former officers accepted a plea deal, while the former officer accused of shooting the elk pleaded not guilty.

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner received in excess of 15,000 emails from Boulder community members and from people across the country outraged over the incident.

7. "Sheriff: 5 snowboarders killed in Colo. avalanche"

It was the worst and most deadly avalanche in Colorado since 1962.

On the weekend of April 20, six back-country snowboarders in the Loveland Valley area triggered a massive slide that killed all but one of the group.

Investigators say the snowboarding group was walking up a drainage area called Sheep Creek when they triggered the avalanche ,which was about 650-feet wide, 1,150-feet long and eight-feet deep.

8. "Remains of missing Dylan Redwine found"

After months of searching, authorities with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office discovered human remains along Middle Mountain in Vallecito, which were confirmed in late June to be those of 13-year-old Dylan Redwine.

The case is still being pursued as a criminal investigation, but no arrests have ever been made since his disappearance around Thanksgiving of 2012.

9. "Peyton Manning reaches another NFL mark: Passing yards in season"

Connecting with Demaryius Thomas for a 5-yard touchdown, Peyton Manning set the all-time record for most passing yards in a season with 5,477 on Dec. 29.

Earlier in the season, Manning set the NFL record for TD passes in a game when he threw seven in the season-opener against Baltimore.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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