drying out in the foothills… (we think)

It’s Saturday. Right now the sun is out after a week of steady and sometimes heavy rains with widespread flooding. A “once-in-a-hundred years” kind of rainstorm. Some are even calling the rains and flooding “biblical.”

colorado_ark

Well no, we’re not at that stage yet, but it is a very serious situation, especially with more rain forecast for today and tomorrow some of it predicted to be heavy at times. More rain is like the absolute last thing we need right now. Here in Jefferson County we’re under a flood warning and flash flood watch both today and tomorrow.

Road closures have been the least of the problems so far. 4 people have died in the floods and as of this morning, 172 people are unaccounted for. May all those who are currently missing turn up alive and safe as quickly as possible and in the coming days.

Some pictures from the last few days:

US Hwy. 6 through Clear Creek canyon this morning. Latest updates on road conditions from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonCountySheriff and CDOT http://www.cotrip.org.
US Hwy. 6 through Clear Creek canyon this morning. Latest updates on road conditions from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonCountySheriff and CDOT http://www.cotrip.org.
And road conditions from Google Maps... http://www.googlemaps.com
And road conditions from Google Maps… http://www.googlemaps.com

From Evergreen, 9/13:

Photo by Scotty McWalter... Downtown Evergreen, Cactus Jack's patio
Photo by Scotty McWalter… Downtown Evergreen, Cactus Jack’s patio
Evergreen flooding, Bear Creek Mall, Cactus Jack's... Photo by Scotty McWalter
Evergreen flooding, Bear Creek Mall, Cactus Jack’s… Photo by Scotty McWalter.

When I first saw these pictures I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I used to live in Evergreen and have been going up there as far back as 1965 and had worked in this building from 1992 – ’95. There used to be a restaurant called the River Sage there until 1998 and they had the patio until they closed and Cactus Jack’s took it over. I can remember sitting out there above the creek; we’d watch the spring run-off from the mountains when the creek levels would be very high, but I’d never seen them this high before.

Photo by Scotty McWalter.
Downtown Evergreen, closed, looking east. Photo by Scotty McWalter.
Photo by Scotty McWalter
Photo by Scotty McWalter
Downtown Evergreen, showing road damage. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office...
Downtown Evergreen, showing road damage. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office…
A house in downtown Evergreen...
A house in downtown Evergreen…
Hwy. 72 through Coal Creek canyon west of Golden into the mountains, as of Thursday, 9/12/13
Hwy. 72 through Coal Creek canyon west of Golden into the mountains, as of Thursday, 9/12/13
Rain on Wednesday, 9/11, looking up Hwy. 58 toward Clear Creek canyon...
Rain on Wednesday, 9/11, looking up Hwy. 58 through Golden toward Clear Creek canyon…
Waterfall run-off on S. Table Mtn., Golden, 9/12/13...
Waterfall run-off on S. Table Mtn., Golden, 9/12/13…

So far, Erin and I have been extremely fortunate where we live – Golden has not been hit hard with the amount of rainfall here and we live on a ridge high above town – but many others have not been so lucky. Much of the flooding has been to the north of us, Boulder up to Estes Park, Lyons, Longmont, and Loveland all the way to east of I-25 onto the plains.

Parts of Denver and Aurora have been affected as well and now they’re saying that an area of 4,500 square miles has been impacted by the floods. Yes, it is widespread and it is really that bad. With the exception of a couple of years in Dallas, I’ve lived here since 1992 and I haven’t seen anything like this here.

Hwy. 34 from Estes Park to Loveland... the Big Thompson River canyon
Hwy. 34 from Estes Park to Loveland… the Big Thompson River canyon
Upper Bear Creek above Evergreen. The water crested downstream in Morrison at 9 feet.
Upper Bear Creek above Evergreen. The water crested downstream in Morrison at 9 feet.
Coal Creek canyon... road washed out
Coal Creek canyon… road washed out. Courtesy of 9News.
Hwy. 7 near Lyons... Photo from the Denver Post.
Hwy. 7 near Lyons… Photo from the Denver Post.
Aerial view of Lyons, CO... courtesy of 9News.
Aerial view of Lyons, CO… courtesy of 9News.
Downtown Lyons... the town was completely cut off on Friday. Residents had to be air-lifted out - all roads were impassable.
Downtown Lyons… the town was completely cut off on Friday. Residents had to be air-lifted out by the National Guard – all roads were impassable.
Boulder Creek, courtesy of 9News...
Boulder Creek, courtesy of 9News…
Some brief sunshine yesterday afternoon, Golden...
Some brief sunshine yesterday afternoon, Golden…
rainbow2
Double rainbow last evening in Golden – unable to get the full arc in the picture but it was amazing…
Double rainbow, Golden, 9/13/13...
Double rainbow, Golden, 9/13/13…
More storms are expecting tonight and tomorrow...
More storms are expected tonight and tomorrow…
And the skies currently...
And the skies currently…
Surf's up...
Surf’s up… Obviously Photoshopped, but you get the idea.

Clouds have been building to the north and west now, over the mountains to the immediate west of Golden; it’s become darker and the wind has picked up. It smells like rain.

Everyone stay safe out there

Follow Craig and
Nights on Venus
on Twitter (@xlntsky) and Facebook.

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Author: nightsonvenus

Musician and producer with the band Nights on Venus.

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