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“This is a 500-to-1,000-year flood”

Posted by feww on September 15, 2013

Torrential rains continue pounding flood-devastated Colorado

More rain has been falling in flood-devastated Colorado for a fifth day.

On Saturday several additional towns along the South Platte River were under mandatory evacuation.

Several areas have received more than 15 inches of rain over three days, an amount more than the annual total average, according to National Weather Service.

“This is a 500-to-1,000-year flood,” said a Weld County commissioner.

“We continue to have new landslides and road collapses,” said a message posted by the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, warning trapped residents that rescuers were having difficulty reaching them.

“Rescue crews got a break when the rains let up on Friday, but by Saturday afternoon the rains returned, prompting the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings for canyons west of the Denver metro area,” said a report.

“This event has stunned all of us,” U.S. Senator Mark Udall said after touring the devastated area by air with Governor John Hickenlooper and other politicians on Saturday.

colorado flooding -28127
Riverbend campground, Storm Mountain near Drake. Credit: Deb Green.

Two of the worst hit areas are Weld County where the swollen St. Vrain, Big Thompson and Cache La Poudre rivers empty into the South Platte River, and Morgan County, further downstream, where the towns of Weldona, Goodrich, Muir Springs and Orchard were under evacuation orders, the report said.

  • The disaster zone is larger than 10,000 mi², an area the size of Massachusetts.
  • The raging floodwaters have destroyed numerous buildings, roads and bridges in the the disaster areas.
  • Flooding has left at least 4 people dead, and a fifth victim, a 60-year-old female, is missing and presumed dead after witnesses saw her home swept away by floodwaters, according to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.
  • About 520 people are still unaccounted for, said Gov. Hickenlooper in a TV interview (the figure includes 350 people in Larimer County and 170 others in Boulder County), and officials have warned the death toll could rise.

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One Response to ““This is a 500-to-1,000-year flood””

  1. feww said

    Obama Signs Colorado Disaster Declaration

    “The President last night declared a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on September 11, 2013, and continuing.

    The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Boulder County.”

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