Boulder

Published on September 17th, 2013 | by gatsbyadmin

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Colorado Flooding Update

In Colorado, the rain continues to fall and the waters continue to rise, as a drought-ridden state that faced major forest fires this summer now sees flash floods that are ravaging northeastern Colorado and turning the region into a Federal Disaster Area.  As opposed to the fires, which struck hardest in Colorado Springs and the South West of the state, the flooding is hitting hardest in the foothills of the Rockies north of  the state capital, Denver.  According to eyewitness accounts, the northern Boulder, a populous city with a large student population, has seen major destruction. The University of Colorado in Boulder cancelled it’s football game this week, for only the third time in its history.  Flood levels are also reaching historic levels, marking this as a 500  to 1000 year flood in different areas. Boulder Creek, central to the city’s layout, has risen to 6 feet above normal and is flowing at speeds of 5,000 cubic feet per second.

 

Several hundred people remain unaccounted for due to cutoff roads and communications, and 4 deaths have been confirmed in the region (with a fifth suspected), mostly the victims of structural collapses.   Mudslides are destroying homes and many roads have been not only washed out but have fully disintegrated.  3500 have been evacuated from Boulder County, and a HOTLINE  has been established for locating missing family and friends:

(303) 776-2927

Rain began early last week and grew heavy by Wednesday, with Boulder reporting 7.2 inches in 15 hours. This in a state so desperate for rain in June during the Black Forest fire, which killed two and caused $85 million in damages. The National Guard  and Search and Rescue crews from across the state continue evacuations in the area, but heavy rains continue to ravage the front range, threatening rescue efforts.  Flash flooding has been reported in 15 counties across a 200 mile swath running up and down the Front Range, which is where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains.  In addition to Boulder proper, outlying Longmont and Lyons are facing major damage, as is Estes Park, the entryway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and Fort Collins.

Social Media is proving incredibly useful in disseminating information to those who are safe and dry.  Everything from personal photos and posts asking for prayers, to Sherriff Smith of Larimer County posting updates and aerial photos have been part of the documentation of this disaster.  According to the New York Times, a group of 5th Grade students who were trapped at the Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown during a class trip have been communicating with their concerned families through the centers Facebook page. Twitter posts from Rocky Mountain National Park [ @RMNPofficial ] and  journalists such as Boulder Daily Camera’s Jeremy Papasso [ @jpapasso ] are also keeping video and updates in the social media feed.

See Aerial Footage from NYTimes

Keep Colorado in your thoughts this week, and reach out to the Red Cross to donate money or blood.  Keep up with Grimey Gatsby for more on how you can help once the waters recede and Colorado begins to rebuild. Perhaps a year of fire and flood may serve as a stern reminder that Mother Nature is stressed and unhappy, and inspire us to live more in harmony with her.  Check out GG’s eco-conscious features and our 4Pieces campaign for a cleaner world.  When we shift our actions and begin to respect our environment, perhaps it can halt its raging against us.

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