Colorado Flood

Brendan Murphy / Utah State University

Reservoirs can get messy after a big wildfire. The issue isn’t the fire itself, it’s what happens after. 

Brennan Linsley / The Associated Press

When the flood waters in 2013 subsided, tens of thousands of evacuees along Colorado's Front Range returned to see what happened to their homes. One of them was Amanda Anderson.

"All of it was just mud," Anderson said. "It was so dark in there because of the mud. It was like walking into a horror movie because it used to be so bright."

Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park / Facebook

The federal government hasn't funded $20 million in work to fix roads damaged by flooding in Larimer County nearly six years ago.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports that a 2018 law that changed how the Federal Emergency Management Agency awards money for projects that don't meet strict design guidelines, like those in Larimer County's Big Thompson Canyon, was supposed to help speed up funding. However, FEMA hasn't given its regional offices guidance on how to award money under it.

Progress on ongoing flood recovery efforts in Boulder and Larimer counties has stopped due to the federal government shutdown.

The Longmont Daily Times-Call reports Colorado's U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner have asked leaders of federal agencies to consider the impact of the shutdown when deciding whether to approve deadline extensions for projects.

Erin O'Toole / KUNC

In September 2013, four days of torrential rainfall devastated parts of Colorado’s Front Range, killing nine people and damaging or destroying around 1,800 homes. A number of roads were washed out by floodwaters, stranding thousands of people who had to be helicoptered to safety.

Matt Bloom/KUNC

In September 2013, historic flooding fundamentally changed Jamestown, Colorado. Landslides triggered by massive rains destroyed homes, buried the town’s fire station and left one resident dead.

What happened next was what some call the most ambitious recovery project in the town’s history. The effort is finally wrapping up this fall, leaving residents with a big question: Where do they go from here?

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Five years ago flood waters caused immense damage along Colorado’s northern Front Range and foothills, killing nine people, upending the lives of thousands of others. And just as the raging water left a lasting imprint in the minds of those who lived through it, it did the same to the land itself.

During four days of rain, and weeks of receding, rivers altered course, reservoirs filled with sediment, and soil slipped down hillslopes, ending up as sand bars and log jams downstream. The change was so abrupt and sudden maps had to be redrawn.

Colorado Department of Transportation

A major stretch of US highway 34 through Big Thompson Canyon is set to reopen just in time for the Memorial Day holiday.

The route will be accessible to the public starting May 24 at 4 p.m., said Johnny Olson, Colorado Department of Transportation regional director.  

“The Thursday before Memorial weekend we will be opening that up,” he said.

John Weaver / Poudre Fire Authority

On July 28, 1997, Chris Wolf was one of two officers on duty with the campus police at Colorado State University. It was summer, and the campus was gearing up for the fall semester. Wolf was eating pizza for dinner at a local restaurant with another officer when the rain began.

“And I said something like, ‘Boy, it sure is raining hard,’ never realizing what the next several hours would bring,” he said.

Colorado's History Of July Floods Isn't A Coincidence

Jul 24, 2017
Courtesy of Jason Pohl/The Coloradoan

The last week of July has seen two of the most severe floods in Colorado’s history - and that’s not a coincidence.

Both floods began at night and both had devastating consequences. On July 28, 1997, the heaviest rain ever recorded in an urban area of the state caused millions of dollars of damage to areas of Fort Collins and killed five people. What became known as the Spring Creek Flood came two days short of the anniversary of the Big Thompson Flood of 1976, when at least 12 inches of rain fell over four hours in the mountains below Estes Park. In the subsequent flooding 143 people died.

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