Sunday, September 15, 2013

If It's Not One Thing...'s another.

Last year, we were all about the fires and praying for rain to put them out.

Well, the rains came.  Maybe a year late, but they're here.  You know, you can't always coerce Mother Nature to bend to your will.

I was five when the Big Thompson flood hit and to this day, I get nervous when it's been raining for too long.  Back then, Mom and Dad both disappeared to work.  Dad was a firefighter and was helping with rescue/recovery and Mom was working in the soup kitchens, keeping all of the rescuers fed.

This flood, though much more devastating to property, hasn't claimed nearly as many lives, as our warning systems have gotten better and our rainfall was spread out over days not hours.  I'll never again have faith in the "flood improvements" that will be made.  After the flood in '76, the Big Thompson canyon was improved and we were assured it would withstand another flood.

Unfortunately, the pictures say otherwise:
Highway 34, the most common way into Estes Park
Of course, the technology used to make the canyon flood-proof is over thirty years old.

Back in 1997, Fort Collins was hit with a flash flood that killed a handful of people and caught us completely unaware.  We were all okay, but the kids were very small and Ashinator texted me on Thursday, when we started flooding, to let me know she was feeling very anxious about delivering in the rain.  Maybe anxiety over flooding wasn't quite the tradition I wanted to share with the kids.

Mom and Bill were thought to be completely cut off.  The only ways in and out of Estes Park were washed away (except Trail Ridge Road) and Highway 7, the direct route to their place is no longer existent in certain places.

What used to be Highway 7 (sorry I couldn't get it to resize)
Luckily, they did find a way off the mountain (should they ever decide to leave), via the Peak to Peak Highway (Highway 72), so their guests were able to leave and catch their planes back to Germany.

As devastating as the fires were, this flood I believe to be worse.  Jay and I are mostly dry out in Ault, but here's a quick run-down of the family situation:
  • Nebalee, et al are on high ground above the Big Thompson, but surrounded by flooding. The worst Nebalee has had to deal with is brown water, but since she stockpiled water before it turned brown, she's set.
  • Junior and his family are on high ground east of I-25, but are pretty much the only neighborhood in his town that are not under mandatory evacuation.
  • Deejo's family is high and dry.
  • Jay's family is dry, but completely cut off.  There's no way in or out of the town they live in.
  • Grandma Nita is dry this go 'round.  She barely missed the flooding in '97, but the flood improvements seem to be working well and keeping her dry.
  • The Heathi are all doing well.  Digger and Monster live closest to the river, but they're still out of danger and Ashinator doesn't live anywhere near the flooded areas in town.
As a family, we're especially blessed in this disaster, even with Mom and Bill inaccessible.  They have food, water, and the horses.  Life is pretty good for them right now.

I just wish all of my friends have been as lucky as we have.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  I've made a small donation to one of the local evacuation shelters, but there's definitely more need than I can help fulfill.  If you have an extra dollar or two to donate to the cause (I hate asking for donations), you can go to Northern Colorado Flood Relief.  Yesterday, I had Ashinator drop off supplies that the evac centers had specifically asked for, but by far, the best way to donate is monetarily so that the centers can purchase what they need.  Here's another place to donate: Larimer County Flood 2013 Long-Term Recovery.


Momma Fargo said...

So crazy. Makes all that worrying I did at the River War Haus extra stupid and a waste of my brain. That was nothing compared to this disaster.

Allenspark Lodge said...

Bionic Cowgirl here: we are planning on resuming normal operations at the Lodge on Wed. Wild Basin Lodge is planning on continuing normal operations, starting with a wedding planned for Tues. That's right, tomorrow. We could be open then also is lodging is needed. We are only waiting on the National Guard to allow our guests through; we are trying to get on their list, but the H 72 route appears to be opening very soon.