Originally Posted by KCN
I spent yesterday volunteering with a group doing some flood cleanup in a couple of the small towns that were way up in the mountains above Lyons and Boulder but sustained major damage. So much work to be done... When you see the damage done, you realize how rocky our "Rocky Mountain" soil really is and how it behaves when exposed to an extreme moisture event. All roads should be open by Thanksgiving, but the cleanup has only begun.
The storm that caused this was without precedent in terms of recorded weather (or predictable weather) - it has been called a 1000 year storm/flood, and also a "biblical" flood.
The folks in Raymond and Riverside threw a big thank-you potluck for all us volunteers - it was the first outside help they'd had and they were so grateful. Many older folks living in these communities simply can't move the heavy debris, and many are out of the homes they've lived in for many, many years, staying with friends in the community that still have solid homes.
I'm not sure if the Airstream in the photo landed in it's current position or was parked there. It looks a LOT better than the 'SOB' trailers I saw crushed... That picture is in the Apple Valley area of Lyons, which was one area hit the hardest by the flood. The mountains above Lyons soar to more than 14,000 feet (Long's Peak), and as the rain fell for a week, water came cascading down from that height, creating rivers and streams where none existed previously, swelling others to rocky torrents. By the time all that water hit Lyons, it was carrying massive boulder and trees.
Roads and bridges crumbled, even as far away as my house, which is 20 miles east of Lyons. My irrigation cooperative just had an emergency meeting so we could vote to borrow $2,000,000 to repair our main river diversion infrastructure so we can get water to farm with next spring. We cooperative members will all share in repaying that loan, but without water we will have no farms.
There are still many cleanup opportunities being coordinated through Boulder County United Way, for any of the Colorado folks looking for ways to help. A reporter from The Denver Post went to Raymond a couple of weeks ago to take photos, but the story didn't run as the flood was now considered "old news." For the folks in these towns, it's very, very current. (pardon the pun.)
Good for you for volunteering. We also drove on 36 today to get a sense of the damage. I am amazed at the power of the river and Mother Nature. The damage is severe and will take some time to clean up. The good news is that the town seems to be committed to making the best of a very bad situation.
I fish the St. Vrain and many parts of it are up recognizable due to the damage of the flooding. Very sad.
If you are in a position to help in any small way, please do so.