12 September 2013

Colorado Flooding

Emergency Alert - Flash Flood

For the first time ever, today I received an emergency alert public announcement via my iphone. It was loud. The message beeped and buzzed and alerted me to the danger of flash floods in the area after heavy rains. They weren't kidding.

The damage looks horrendous on TV coverage. I had gotten used to the warnings at the bottom of the TV screen, but this warning made me jump. The floods are widespread and the rain is not expected to pass completely from this area until Monday. More water is coming.

I continue to be fascinated with the mapping software I recommended last week at http://forecast.io/. I have been watching the storm cells pass over the region. Supposedly in 20 minutes (by the time I complete this post) the rain will begin to fall again softly.

The point is how and where all that softly falling and at times torrential pouring rain accumulates into dangerous waters. This isn't just one city in Colorado, this is city after city with many thousands of people affected by the floods.

To give international readers a perspective - the floods are affecting an area equivalent to the length of London to Blackpool (or the entire range of the Pyrenees mountains), with a width equal to southern Italy.

Update - Friday, September 13, 2013: see Colorado Flooding Continues More photos, maps, and emergency websites.

09/12/13 : Regions where I have seen photos or news coverage of major flooding in the metropolitan /front range area of Colorado. (Flash Flood Alerts in green)  Area: 200km long

Hit particularly hard are Lyons, Estes Park, Boulder, Erie, Broomfield, Commerce City, Aurora and Denver. As well as down into Centennial, Castle Rock and south to Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs where one death has already been reported. (early flash flood warnings marked in green above, these will be extended as more rain falls in the next 3 days). Also flash flood warnings are in place east to Burlington.

Below citizens from across the broad region affected by the storm and floods shared photos at local 9News.com. (added 09/12/13)
Major flooding in Estes Park
Flooding in Firestone, Colorado, east of I-25
A bridge to nowhere, flooding in Stapleton
I drove close to this area yesterday in Aurora, and now a parking lot submerged
The Apple Valley Bridge outside of Lyons is a recognizable landmark to any area cyclist
A resident's backyard along the Thomspon River west of Loveland/FortCollins
A home in Lyons, Colorado
The waters are spreading east onto the lands near Erie, Colorado
A boy in his basement in Boulder, Colorado
The town of Lyons is virtually closed off, the market flooded and residents trapped
This park is east of my neighborhood in Denver.
Thornton flooding. The waters extend up and down the front range in Colorado
I drove on this street yesterday in the rain - now overnight - destruction
Flood waters spread into eastern Boulder
University of Colorado, located next to Boulder Creek and on known flood plains, is closed for at least 2 days.
Flooding at the juncture of two major freeways in Denver/Aurora at I-70 and 225
Residential flooding in Aurora
My neighborhood Cherry Creek Bike path in Denver is under that water were a gentle creek used to be
The flooded Cherry Creek path as it flows under Speer Blvd by the University of Colorado Denver campus in downtown Denver.
Rising waters on outskirts on downtown Denver

Follow the advice on the news -
Don't drown, turn around.
Stay put, stay safe.

Notice: Cyclo X - Flatirons, Sunday September 15th, cyclocross race cancelled, POSTPONED UNTIL 9/29/13, more information: 2013-14 Colorado Cyclocross Calendar