I’ve been absent for the better part of a week because of flooding in Colorado. Our internet has been down and shaky at best, even if I’d had a chance to look at a non-work computer I couldn’t have posted. Anyway…flooding. It
rained poured for 7 days straight (or 9 depending on what part of the state). We knew there would be some flooding but I never imagined it would be as bad as this. Most people who follow me know I’m a 911 & Public Safety dispatcher but for those who are new that’s what I do. It all started last Wednesday night. Our first indication of what was coming were the videos posted by CU students of the dorms flooding and streets in Boulder covered in water. A few hours later our own city started to experience the same flooding and from there it became mass chaos. And that statement right there is the understatement of the century. I’ve been through a lot of busy days, nights, weeks but this tops everything I have ever experience and then some.
By Thursday morning we were mentally exhausted but my friend and I decided to venture out to see just what it was we’d been dealing with all night. Within hours this spot would be completely covered in water.
The next morning after getting off work I was unable to get home due to the flooding of the Big Thompson & Poudre Rivers. I live between the two rivers and all bridges & roads crossing them were closed. I’m currently without a phone after giving it a bath in boiling hot, bleach water so I couldn’t even Google road closures or possible routes home. No matter how I tried to get home I was stuck. After I had a short temper tantrum I ended up going driving back to work and staying until noon. A friend took in myself and another friend while we were trapped in the city. It was surreal being only a mile away from the flooding yet sitting on my friend’s porch looking at the bright blue, sunny skies enjoying a beautiful breeze.
I ended up being able to make it home Saturday early afternoon on one of two roads that were accessible over the Big Thompson. Every other person in the county was doing the same thing so it was slow going and I ended up taking back roads to get home.
These pictures are from our adventures around Longmont on Friday checking out the flooded areas.
We stopped at the same spot I had been only the day before. The waters had receded enough that we could walk part of the trail.
This video is from Longmont which is the city where I work. It was used as a way for our public safety department to assess the damage to the city. At 5:08 you see the Martin Street bridge over the St. Vrain river. The trail to the bottom right is where I took the video above.
In this video our fire department had to drive through the high waters in order to respond to calls. I don’t remember what they were going to for this particular video but the majority of calls have been for people who refused to leave during the evacuation process and then later called us to rescue them.
I can’t even describe the devastation. I’m only sharing a few pictures/videos but there are thousands more that show the damage. If you remember a couple months ago I posted about our flood memorial adventure. The same canyon has flooded and washed out at least 17 miles of Highway 34. It’s been just as destructive as the flood of 1976 however I don’t think it will be as deadly though the death toll won’t be known for weeks yet. Estes Park is basically an island with only 1, maybe 2, roads accessible only to essential people.
My personal silver lining through this experience is watching the military helicopters at work. I have always been fascinated with aircraft, the bigger it is the better. The Blackhawks have been flying over my house for days and I’m keeping my fingers crossed one of the Chinooks makes its way over soon. 😉