Our Risks

Our Risks - Top Five for Adams County

Hazardous Materials

Adams County has many risks associated with hazardous materials. While great for the local economy, the large industrial areas in the southwest of the county pose a potential hazard to our local community. Our hazmat risk is also increased by the daily transportation of chemicals along our interstate, county roads, and railways. The Adams County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) collects information about hazardous materials facilities within our community, for emergency planning purposes and to make this information available to our citizens upon request. 

Severe Thunderstorms

All of Adams County is at risk for severe thunderstorms. On average, Adams County can experience 40 to 50 events each year. All thunderstorms are dangerous and bring the possibility of damaging winds, hail, lightning, heavy rain, flash floods, down bursts and tornadoes.


A tornado can occur along Colorado's Front Range and eastern plains anytime between February and October, but primarily they occur from mid-May through mid-August. June is the peak month for tornadoes in Colorado and Adams County is the second most tornado-prone county in the state behind Weld County.
On Average, most tornadoes develop between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., but they can happen during any hour of the day and are usually east of Interstate 25.

Winter Storms

In Adams County, winter storms can hit unexpectedly and bring severe consequences. Historically, we can expect at least three winter storms each year according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Storms can bring long periods of sub-degree temperatures and extreme winds along with snow causing whiteouts and snow drifts 2 to 3 feet or higher. September through April is the primary season for significant snowfalls. On average Adams County receives anywhere from 55 to 60 inches of snowfall annually.


Floods can occur with little to no warning and pose an immediate threat to life and property. There are three types of flooding that can occur in Adams County, including flash flooding, river flooding and flooding due to a dam failure. The South Platte River Basin, which runs through western Adams County, periodically floods when snow runoff combines with intense rainstorms. The most frequent flooding events are usually short-lived and highly localized as a result of heavy rains over urbanized areas during severe thunderstorms.

Other Risks

Other risks we face in Adams County include earthquakes, subsidence, wildfire and drought. Stay tuned for more information on these topics in the weeks to come.