Archive for September, 2013

Flood Rhymes With Mud and Crud

Day 4:  More Rain

What did Colorado do wrong?  More rain. Really?  Unfathomable, after a foot and a half already, even with a break of sun in Day 3, lighting hope everywhere.  We knew it was possible yesterday, just hoped it wasn’t true, or at least not as bad a rain.  But it’s pretty steady, even torrents at times this morning, and I think of my next door neighbor with the flooded basement we all just cleaned up and those still evacuated or stranded, like one of my friends.  Family and friends suddenly come into focus as I spend most of my time on the phone or computer, ignoring work and dishes that have piled up, just to connect, vent, be thankful.  It has been quite the voyage.


Day 3:  Sun came out and so did the neighbors.

As I drive back from the mall with the last pair of size 8 rain boots possible left in the city, I look in my rear view at the charcoaled clouds smothering Denver and beyond.  The emergency broadcast rips over the station that there’s a flood warning there, seek higher ground or you could die.  I drive back to my neighborhood with pink rimmed clouds layered in yellow and gray, popcorning throughout the skies, to see how my husband is doing, bouncing along on the tractor in our cul-de-sac, like Eddie Albert in Green Acres.  Many wonderful neighbors help shovel leaden mud into the tractor and then Rick dumps it into the cul-de-sac center so flood debris doesn’t clog our storm drain again.  My shoulders hurt so I took a break for a little retail rain boot therapy.  Amazing what a pair of purple rain boots can do for a flooded soul.  The first picture is of “Joel,” who just showed up from Wonderland Hill, and was traveling around the hardest hit areas just to see where he could help.  I took a picture because I thought he might be one of those angels that shows up at emergencies and then disappears before anyone can acknowledge him.Image ImageImage

Day 2: Still raining but not so bad.

We head out with the dog to see the house on the corner of 19th and Upland that motivated yesterdays partial evacuation.  Class 3 rapids from its bordering creek slammed into the house and made it lean, ready to topple over, firefighters feared, and wash down Upland towards our cul-de-sac.  Break in the weather so Rick goes to work and I head to Target to find rain boots, since my Merrell boots are still drying out and they’re useless in the flood waters since only calf-high. Target’s only had about a million requests, the clerk says.  I buy bottled water and few groceries to tide over.  We help all of the local news station’s ratings, with constant vigilance of the devastation.  Finally, the emergency sirens that practice monthly and are largely ignored, are sounded.  11 p.m. sirens gargle in the driving rain with a muffled announcement.  I call the emergency center and they tell me we don’t need to evacuate but the mouth of the canyon to Broadway does.  I don’t sleep very well, with rushing brown water images imprinted behind my eyelids.ImageImage

Day 1: 5 a.m. The smacking rain, accompanied by river sounds never heard from our bedroom window, awaken me.  The flood is here. Everything shuts down throughout the city, and we find, across the Front Range.  It is biblical proportions, as the National Weather Center announces, unprecedented, relentless almost tropical feeling rain, so bizarre for us in our droughtish land.  Boulder Creek swells to over twice its normal table and rivers and lakes form from our cul-de-sac to pasture lands and streets.  Sadly, a few have died, including a couple of seventeen-year-olds and the numbers will probably rise over the coming week.  Crawdads and cactus, mingled with an odd assortment of colanders, baby seats, washing machines, wood and a shag carpet of mud line now-river banks and sidewalks where the flood waters swept.  Some have water up to their car handles.  Some of no running water or electricity.  We have blessedly skated through, with no water damage, though several on our street have flooded basements.  My husband works with a flashlight in the dark rain to keep the storm drain clear, though it keeps plugging up, filling our cul-de-sac.ImageImageImageImage



September 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

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