Monday, September 16, 2013

The Flood of 2013

Last year, we had the most damaging fires ever.  This's flooding.  Colorado has been on national news of late, but I'm not sure how far-reaching "national" really is.  Here's what's been going on:
Fatalities: 8

People "unaccounted" for: 708

People evacuated: 11,700

People in shelters: 1,872

Shelters open: 36 (in 17 counties)

Structures damaged: 17,994

Structures destroyed: 1,502
It has been raining non-stop for 6 days!  Some are saying that this rain storm is a 100-year event.  Some say "biblical proportions."

It was still raining on my way to work today, but is expected to ease up today and tomorrow, and the flooding is still rampant along Colorado's Front Range.
The Big Thompson River flood of 1976 has long been the "benchmark."  That flood crested at 9.31' in the town of Drake. The river crested at 10.55' on Friday morning. 

The steady rainfall that caused the flooding was record breaking.  Boulder, just 15 miles from us got over 21".   The previous record for the past 100 years was a mere 5.5" in 1940.  In the foothills of Boulder, as well as eastern parts of the county like Longmont, rainfall was comparable, ranging anywhere from 7 to 15".  The Boulder Creek crested at 7.78', just below the 8' mark, which is considered 'major' flooding for the area.  This little, scenic creek normally has depths of just 1'.  It is packed with people wading and tubing all summer with picnickers and walkers on both sides.  It is a Boulder "must see"... most of the time.  It crested at 7.78' feet people!

The quaint little town of Lyons, was completely cut off from the outside.  Both major highways destroyed.  The National Guard was called in to rescue residents.  The St. Vrain River was measured at 7' just before the town was literally washed away and all major roads were inescapable.  The record was 9.06' in 1941.
In all, more than 3 million people in Colorado – or about 60% of our population – were in some sort of flood warning over the past 6 days.  In fact, we got emergency notifications on our phones twice yesterday.  However...we are FINE.

The flooding has destroyed over 30 bridges and still many roads are still impassable.  Schools, our major two Universities and several businesses have been closed for days.  Our major northern roadway, Interstate 25, was closed from Thornton all the way to the Wyoming border.  

Localized neighborhood flooding is occurring because the drainage pipes and spillways cannot hold any more water! Fortunately, we sit at a highpoint in our neighborhood, and we've not seen any local flooding.

The clouds final broke apart today and out came the sun! 

The National Guard is flying a total of 21 helicopters from the Colorado, Wyoming, and Fort Carson.  In total there are 17 counties now listed as affected by the flooding:  Boulder, El Paso, Larimer, Adams (where we live), Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Washington, Weld, Sedgewick, Otero and Archuelta counties.  It is the biggest air rescue effort since hurricane Katrina.

Yes.  We were lucky.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. This gives me chills. I am amazed that in 6 days all the damage this rain has caused. Please stay safe.