Colorado Flood Update

Many friends from outside the area have inquired how we've fared through the recent disaster in Colorado.  Here's an update:

Our current place (rental) is fine, though the property we're building on was decimated pretty badly (it's about 2 miles from where we presently live, next to a lake on the St Vrain river).  The river is normally 20-30 feet wide and 1-2 feet deep.  I could have waded across it no problem a week ago.  It was 200-500yds wide when we saw it a few days ago (no typo there).  The shot below is our lake, but it's connected now to the river and the next lake over.  The water continues for hundreds of yards to the right side of the frame.  Utterly amazing.






Here's the sign to our neighborhood.  Irony is we just changed the street name from Dougla Drive to Waterside Ln.  How appropriate.



This guy tried to go around the road barriers.  Bad idea.  Fire department got their engine stuck trying to save him.  He gets a Darwin award for being an idiot.





The pool area (which is lower and inside the flood plain), looked like this only a week ago:


And here's the same location a couple days ago:



There's a 100-200yd section of road that's completely gone (new river channel) in front of our new neighborhood, as well as the road into our neighborhood, so it's going to slow us down for construction of our new home up there (we had just broken ground a month ago).  Good news is our homesite was safe.





The town in general is in pretty dire straights.  Two of our three water mains are out, and we're on a mandatory boil order for what's left because they can't confirm it's safe.  There's well over 100 miles of roads in our county alone that are closed or destroyed.  Cities to the north (near Greeley) have their sewer systems completely out and are on a "no flush" order.  We are much more fortunate.  The city 10 miles up the road (Longmont) is just destroyed in places.  Here's a link to an aerial view from a couple days ago (yesterday--Sunday--made things far worse).



And here's the fire department yesterday:



There's over 17,000 homes damaged in the area, and the flooding has covered thousands of square miles.  It's just mind boggling.  Over 1000 people need to be airlifted to safety from the mountains, but no one could fly yesterday because it was raining (again) so hard.  The incident commander said it was the largest airlift in the country since Katrina.  Truly unprecedented in this part of the country.

Finally, today we're supposed to be out of the worst of the rain, and the forecast is to get warmer throughout the week.  Since we're fortunate to not be too affected personally, we're drinking only bottled water and helping out our neighbors as they clean out the mess.

It will be many months before we can get this all put back together, but we're very blessed that we weren't affected more personally.

I haven't seen anything like this since my years overseas in the Philippines following the volcanic disaster in the 90's.  It's unreal.

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It is just so hard to see it from far away safe and sound. I hope so much that recovery and reconstruction move swiftly and that the hard days will pass quickly.
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