It is now the time of the year when all of the cacti in the park begin to bloom. Enjoy.
This guy, a red yucca, just happen to live in our patio.
Here is a picture of a saguaro cactus taken in Saguaro National Park. These guys are sure neat.
A bunch more blooms are beginning to open. More later.
The rain has stopped, the sun has come out, and the flood is all over but the crying. Who knows where the flood waters are now. Hopefully where ever the flood water are, its capacity for flooding has diminished.
And so now the digging out continues and the more fortunate try to understand how devastating this flood really was. The highways going east along the front range from Estes Park to Central City still are closed. Highway 34 from Estes Park to Lyons, 20 miles worth, was 85% destroyed. Not washed out, but destroyed. No road bed left. They say the damage to the public infrastructure will be $760 million. Longmont damage is estimated at $148 million not counting the value of the damage done to private business and homes. Lyons is still without water or sewage treatment. The small town of Jamestown on the Little James River is about wiped out. Evans and Greeley east of Longmont suffered as well as did Fort Collins and Loveland. Boulder got hammered.
And so it is all over but the crying, and the crying will go on for a along time. But the people who got hit are survivors. There are countless stories of folks from all walks of life stepping in and helping as they can. People helping people they do not know. They help because there are so many who need help. The tears will go away eventually and they will dry. But no one will ever forget the flood of 2013.
So this will be my last posting on the flood. I hope it has been helpful in giving you just a little idea of what happened here. Below is a link to the Huffington Post who did a great job in describing the damage. Take a look.
Also below are pictures which appeared in the Denver Post. Take a look.
PS: Take a close look of the pictures showing the airport. A couple of days ago I walked by the airport and I saw movement to the east of the road. And there in a drainage ditch, was a bear chowing down on some goodies. And so life does go on.
The flooding in Longmont has stopped and the cleaning now is in full swing. So I thought I would get busy and do some posting on our European River Boat Cruise.
So take a look if you like. Here is the link
We are out of the mountains now hunkered down in Longmont. What a trip out it was. It took us three hours navigating a challenging drive through Central City with tight turns and 12% grades. But that was the only way out. The super Dodge Ram pulled pulled us through without a hitch. Yeaaaaa Rosie.
Anyway I was looking the Denver Post web site and came across some pictures showing some of the devastation. Shocking to say the least. Take a look.
We will be spending a couple of weeks here so hopefully I will be able to give an update of on the damage in Longmont.
A couple of days ago the rains finally stopped. We went back to Peaceful Valley Campground to clean up the site in preparation for leaving and heading to Longmont. We found a 5 gallon we left when we vacated the site. It was almost full from the rain. That means the amount of rain we got at the campground was around 15 to 20 inches. That is a lot of water.
I took some pictures to show the devastation of some of the sites in Camp Dick. However, the damage here was insignificant when compared to the damage on the plains. Take a look.
Everyone was concerned about bridge at Camp Dick. The water came to a couple of feet from the bottom. Here is a picture of it.
Now the problem was that there were three trees that had fallen across the river quite awhile ago. We were concerned if they washed out, they could take out the bridge. Well, they did and they went under the bridge to hang up further down stream. How the bridge held, we have no idea. Below is a picture of the jam. I really don’t know how much of the debris came from those three trees but I imagine it was a bunch.
And here is a picture of the jam after the water receded. What a difference. But these pictures just don’t show the violence of the river.
And so we head to Longmont tomorrow. More latter.
It is impossible from where you sit to imagine the intensity of the flood damage that has been inflicted in the Longmont Boulder area. To get some idea go into Youtube and search on Payton Peterson for aerial film. I really can’t tell what the extent of the damage was done in Lyons but it sounds like all of the municipal system have been washed out. I suspect but don’t know for sure that Lyons has been basically washed out. All of the roads into the mountains from the flooded area have been almost totally washed out. The only way we have to get back to the plains is through Blackhawk, Central City and I-70 east. But then where do you go???
Fortunately we are fine. We are still in the area of Peaceful Valley waiting for things to clear up so we can back to Longmont. I still can’t get over how immensely huge this storm was.
On the afternoon of September 10, 2013, it started to rain in Peaceful Valley Campground about 20 miles west of Lyons, Colorado. As we sat in Moby looking out of the windows, little did we realize that we were watching the beginning of a 100 year rain and eventually was called, a storm that dumped rain in Biblical proportions. This storm extended across the front range of Colorado from Estes Park south to I-70. I don’t know exactly what the distance was but it had to be over 50 miles. The flooding was horrific. All of the drainages flooded, Jamestown was evacuated as houses were destroyed, Estes Park was flooded, all of the roads running east into the plains were washed out. In essence the people who were in the western edge of the storm had only one way out. And that was on the Peak to Peak Highway, running from Estes Park south to I-70 at Blackhawk. Nederland, a small town 18 miles south of here, is running out of supplies. The shelves on the grocery store are being emptied, gas stations are running of gas, and Ace Hardware is running out of propane.
However, these people had it relatively easy compared to those down stream in lower elevations. As you may have seen on National News, the effected parts of Colorado have been declared a National Disaster area. All of the towns and cities along the front range suffered terrible damage. I have heard that Lyons had been an island completely isolated. Boulder and Longmont got creamed. Kate, our daughter in Longmont reported there was no way to get to a hospital from her house if need be.
I am happy to say that Ann and I were hardly effected by the storm. Our Campground is right on the Middle Fork of the St Vrain. It rained heavily from Tuesday into Wednesday. We still didn’t have an idea as to how bad this storm was. It continued to rain on Wednesday into Thursday. Finally after seeing how high the river was flowing, we got scared. We needed to get out and get out fast. So we found a spot about a mile south on top of a ridge which was owned by the Peaceful Valley Lodge. They graciously allowed us to park Moby there, and then we were safe.
And so now, Saturday morning, September 14 the storm is over. And we will be moving back into Peaceful Vally Campground either today or Sunday depending on the forecast. There is no hurry to get back as there is no way anyone can get to the campground as all of the roads are flooded out.
Following are some pictures I took of our campground and Camp Dick which is about a mile west of us. Peaceful Valley survived very well. Camp Dick had about 7 sites which were washed out which will need extensive repair. Keep in mind that the damage done here, was absolutely nothing compared to what happened at lower elevations. I remember the flooding of the Big Thompson River out of Estes Park in the seventies and how horrible that was. That was nothing compared to the flooding that occurred here in the last couple of days.
Here is a further update from a friend who lives in Fort Collins
The flooding around here is nuts! They evacuated 3 neighborhoods in The Fort because of the Poudre flooding. I-25 is closed from Hwy. 7 (Thornton) to Wyoming. The Big Thompson came over I-25 just S of the Rt. 34 interchange this morning. Several towns are marooned with road closures all over the place. NPR called it flooding of “biblical” proportions, and it is being referred to as a 500 yr. event. Not sure where they pulled that number out.
Now for the pics. This is the St Vrain. when you stand next to the river you can hear the rocks being dragged down down stream by the current. Weird
These trees have been washed down from Camp Dick.
This site is in Peaceful Valley. The interesting thing here is that the ground is so saturated by water that spring is flowing at the third step.
The river at the east end of Camp Dick. If you look to left of the picture, you can see tent sites. These are all flooded.
The water level at this bridge is almost to the bottom of the bridge.
The following pics show the water damage to some of the sites at Camp Dick
This is the St Vrain at the west end of Camp Dick. It is really booking.
This is the river as it is flowing out of Peaceful Valley.
It rained so hard that Moby’s window leaked.
As I look at these pictures, I feel disappointed in that they don’t do a better job in fully representing what this flood was really like. To me, it was down scary. That is why we got the heck out there. And the below say it all.
Wow, has it been three months since I have updated any of the blogs?? I am afraid so. Time to get busy. So check out the blog of the European Boat trip. Got to get all of these posting done. In October we take off for South America. Don’t want to get too far behind.
How’s this for a family photo
After a huge delay, the blog on the River Boat Cruise is coming to life. Hit the link “Our European River Boat Cruise”