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Old 9/17/13, 10:57 PM
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kshepard kshepard is offline
Certified Master Inspector
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
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Default Re: Rain began again today. Boulder, CO under water.

Originally Posted by tspargo View Post
Saw an update that indicated over 1000 people unaccounted for, hoping the best for everyone.
Boulder Country emergency webpage listed 758 missing as of yesterday, and the general feeling is that although they will discover more fatalities as they go through crushed homes (200 in Lyons alone, 15 miles down the road from us) a lot of people are alive but beyond communication for one reason or another.

The mountain communities were hit particularly hard since most of the roads leading to them followed canyons carved by creeks which turned into rivers and washed out the roads on every outside curve (photo). Those in towns 10-20 miles directly up into the mountains can no longer drive directly down to Boulder (15-20- min.) but have to take a long, long way around. Many of them work down here. In Jamestown, located between canyon walls about 20 miles above Boulder, the road to the school is gone. The creek that ran through town re-routed itself. There's at least one body in a crushed house in town.

Some of the water is contaminated. Lots of communities are totally cut off except by helicopter and until today there have been big double-rotor Chinooks flying over when weather allowed. The national guard has a presence to help man roadblocks. It's the biggest helicopter rescue effort since Katrina, but not bigger than Katrina.
Once thing about these situations, the rumors and claims really fly around, but Boulder is not gone, highway 93 is not destroyed, we can drive to Denver, 1000 are not dead, and so on...

Flooding from the foothill canyons carried a lot of sand and silt into town. City snowplows plowed it into curbside berms and Boulder is full of heavy equipment digging out parking lots, driveways, etc, from mud, sand and gravel. The big storage area right down the street from HQ was left with 2 feet of sand and mud in every alley and peoples belongings were floating down Broadway.

Most of Boulder is OK. It was mainly the areas near where streams came out of the foothills and ran through town that flooded. Low-lying towns up to 20 miles out onto the plains were hit hard, are still underwater and without infrastructure or local sources of clean water.

My buddy Mark on Left Hand Canyon Creek called his neighbor at 2AM last Wednesday and talked him into leaving, The guy tried to drive out in his $75,000 Mercedes, got it stuck, walked out, and when he returned, the car was gone. Someone downstream will be happy!

When the water had gone down some, Mark tried to wade out through shallow water to retrieve a game camera and sunk into the silt up to mid thigh. He found that he couldn't pull either leg free so he struggled harder. Then the water began to rise and he began to panic. This was like, 10 feet from the bank. after going into serious panic mode he managed to free one leg, but then had nothing to push against. Finally he laid down on his back and broke the vacuum, freeing his other leg.

That's just one example of small scenarios that have been acted out thousands of times in this area over the last five days as people tried to deal with flooding.

Home Depot was jamb-packed and came through like champions, trucking in water heaters, fans, tarps, pumps, etc.

We've got disaster restoration people driving around town from as far away as Alabama. They charge $7,000 to put a few fans and a dehumidifying rig in a a 3000 sq. ft basement.

Kenton Shepard, CMI Inspector/Instructor

Designer/Builder: House of Horrors 1&2
Author: InterNACHI Narrative Library

Last edited by kshepard; 9/18/13 at 12:17 AM..