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Rain

September 15, 2013

Filed under: life — Terry Wohlers @ 09:29

We woke up this morning to a downpour of rain. This comes after some of the most rainwater and flooding that Colorado has ever seen. Prior to this morning, we had received about 14 cm (5.5 inches) of rain, according to our rain gauge in southeast Fort Collins. This may not sound like a lot, but it’s more than one-third of the average total moisture that we receive in a year. Areas around Boulder received 38-43 cm (15-17 inches) of rain.

With the foothills and mountains to our west, heavy rain causes water to accumulate quickly, filling rivers, valleys, and low lying areas. Yesterday, in increments of about every 10 minutes, we would see large military helicopters overhead. This morning’s Coloradoan newspaper reported that they were carrying food and supplies, as well as many stranded people to safety. By yesterday evening, more than 1,750 people had been rescued. Four have died and more deaths are expected. About 500 people have not been heard from, including 350 from Larimer County. (Fort Collins is the country seat.)

Erick Nielsson, emergency manager for Larimer County, said that this is worse than Big Thompson. The horrific Big Thompson Canyon flood of 1976 claimed the lives of 143 people. Nielsson, an emergency medical technician at the time, never thought he would say that. It is sad to see the destruction of so many roads, bridges, homes, and other structures in this canyon. Areas from Fort Collins to Pueblo have flooded.

The weather forecast for today and tomorrow is not good. We can only hope and pray for some sunshine, and the well-being of those most effected. Until then, be careful and safe if you’re in a flooded area.