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September 12, 2013 08:53 AM UTC

Front Range Flooding Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols


The Denver Post tracks the widespread flooding along the urban Front Range:

Massive flash flooding across the Front Range of Colorado has resulted in at least two deaths, the destruction of multiple homes and several road closures Thursday morning.

The first reported fatality occurred from a collapsed structure in Jamestown said Andrew Barth, spokesman for the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

Rain continued to pour throughout the night and morning, causing mud slides and rock slides.

And if this hair-raising rescue video from a washed-out road near Broomfield this morning doesn't make you appreciate your local first responders, we don't know what will:

Everybody stay safe and dry out there.


21 thoughts on “Front Range Flooding Thread

  1. At our house I have good news and bad news. The good news is we now have an indoor swimming pool. The bad news is the furniture gets in the way of swimming 🙂

    Our sump pump picked last night to die so we have 5" of water and are on a wait list to get a pump. We got everything important (we think) moved higher in time. The volume of rain coming down last night was of biblical proportions. Incredible.

    1. . . . one down, thirty-nine days and nights to go . . .

      In the meantime Dave, keep you powder dry, huh? . . . this is Colorado after all . . .

      Hang in there! 

  2. In a possibly related story?

    There are preliminary reports late this afternoon from Denver of a heavily bearded and possibly intoxicated Greg Brophy  — clad only in a bathrobe and cowboy boots (with lifts) — yelling incoherently on the street outside the Governor's mansion remarks about: "Pharoah Hickenlooper" . . . "Let my Weldistani's Go!" . . . and, . . . "the next plague — rotten watermelon" . . . 

  3. omg

    I wouldna  thought this could happen. again.


    I've seen the pictures – Big Thompson '76, South Platte (from Deer Crreek to….downtown) 1965, and  others.  But now we got dams and stuff.   I wouldda thought at 5000' and higher we would drain faster. And more controlled.



  4. I remember Big Thompson, Madco. I was only 10, but it made an impression.This time around,  the worst flooding, with the exception of Aurora, is along the burn scars. The fires baked the clay-heavy soil into, quite literally, adobe; just as if it were fired in a kiln. That soil-turned-pottery won't absorb the rain. The water just sheets off of it, pools and collects. Viola! Floods. Now, Aurora didn't have a big fire. I think they're just not living right.   

    1. In addition to wildfire-dried adobe there's probably a lot more development, i.e. pavement, concrete, etc than in 1976. Wonder if someone will be trying to determine how much human development might have contributed to the amount of damage. Certainly the widespread nature of the torrential rains is not due to pavement, but might be a result of the global "development" contributing to climate change.


      1. Realist, Development might affect the weather on a grand scale, but on a micro level it contributed hugely to the flooding. These enormous fires we've had in the last few years are attributable to the years of fire supperssion that have been practiced in the forests. And why was there such aggresive suppression? Because people had moved in and built multi-million dollar McMansions and (good grief!) sub-divisions in the woods. They expect the county to protect their investment, so the counties aggressively fight fires that shouldbe let to burn and clean out the small, weak trees and the slash. Another problem isthe people who, having built thesedamned sub-divisions will not accept the common sense rules for living in the woods: Clean up the slash, water tour plants, and NO trees in a 100 ft. perimiter around buildings. The humanitarian in me feels bad for these people, The native and ecologist in me says let the fires burn their way back to healthand million dollar houses be damned!

        1. Yeah, where are Gov Lamm's Human Settlement policies of the 1970's when we need them! Seriously, how many people here even remember when he proposed them. . .

  5. Yeah- if I lived here in '76 I would have remembered it too.

    Dams and retention ponds are failing and, of course, development and residences have expanded into more remote areas.  The S. Platte is going to flood near Ft Morgan – all the way to the state line.

    And we're not going to dry out until next week.

  6. It's a mess up here in Boulder. You can get most anywhere, but generally only by very convoluted and slow routes. My wife and I have stayed home, with just one trip to the local King Soopers. But a number of people I know did go sightseeing and mostly talked about how long and difficult the drive back was.

    My house is way up the mountainside so I figured we would never be flooded. But the rain volume was so great, and we're the low spot on our cul-de-sac, that we had a ton of water. And then one of our two sump pumps failed. And that led to 5" of water in the basement.

    We had people out to fix the sump pump and drain the basement (mostly) and then with the rain storms last night we were losing ground again. I went to bed expecting a foot of water in the basement this morning.

    but with the rain stopping the sum pumps were able to catch up. So we have a very damp basement, 2 destroyed water heaters, etc. But, as long as there's not much more rain, that's it. Not a flood from a creek or even down the street. Just the rain hitting our house and 3 neighbors house. Incredible volume of rain.

    We have no flood insurance so repair costs are going to hurt. A lot. Among other things, this means no political donations for '14 (sorry Andrew).

    It was such a logical decision, why pay a substantial amount for flood insurance when Bear Creek was not going to get us (it didn't). Never considered that we could get flood levels from the sky.

  7. Glad that you and yours are safe.  Sorry about the damage in the basement.

    We are checking our policy now…although we are out of flood zones in Denver….just wet ….and no place to safely drive…..but, luckily, we do not have to….had family visiting and we were not able to see them…a bummer….but everyone is okay and that is important….



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