The Higland Ditch Company is spending $1.5 million fixing the heart of its canal system along the St. Vrain River outside Lyons, Colo.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
When September’s flood waters came down the Front Range foothills, it unleashed tremendous pressure on an aging irrigation infrastructure, some of which dated back to the late 1800s. As the weather warms, it’ll be a race to mend the damaged or destroyed ditches before the snow starts to melt.
Colorado's historic flood left a significant number of dams and diversion structures damaged on Left Hand Creek in Boulder County - many belonged to the Left Hand Ditch Company. Six months later, the company's critical restoration projects are 80 percent complete and over $1 million under budget.
Debris will need to be removed from an estimated 210 places in Boulder County. Pictured: Left Hand Ditch, March 4, 2014.
Credit Nathan Heffel / KUNC
The snow pack in the mountains around Boulder is at about 140 percent of normal and officials are concerned that the annual spring runoff coupled with the debris from last September’s flood will cause even more problems for a hard hit area.
It’s been six months since heavy rain flooded 24 Colorado counties, damaging businesses, homes, roads and ending 10 lives. An estimated 28,000 residents were impacted and nearly 1,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed.
When it comes to business, the small towns of Lyons and Estes Park have faced a particularly steep road to recovery.
Six months after September's floods devastated much of the Front Range, many areas hit hard have mostly returned to normal. That's not the case everywhere. For residents of Big Elk Meadows, getting back home has been a slow process.