Colorado Floods: Small Town Disaster Update

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Flooding at Highway 287 in Loveland, Colorado. Photo by Loveland resident Melody Glinsman. All rights reserved.

Flooding in the Foothills

In the foothills, in Loveland, the rain also fell for days before the flooding began. Loveland resident Randy Kady first realized the situation had taken a dangerous turn when he received an Emergency Alert Notification on his phone at 2 a.m. on September 11. Although the notification was for a flood watch, not a warning, Kady knew it was serious.

Kady lived in Aurora when the Big Thompson Flood occurred. He was ten years old at the time and watched it on the news. “I was up sick all night vomiting. The devastation and loss of life was catastrophic,” he said. Kady also works in an office building at the site where triage was performed for victims of the flood. Flooding, to Randy Kady, is a very serious matter.

According to Kady, on September 12, 2013, “I would occasionally stream online one of the news stations for updates. That is when I started to get a sense of how serious the flooding was getting.” Kady also works where Hwy 34 enters the canyon. “I could see the rain coming down in torrents just outside my window.”

The seriousness of the situation escalated when he received a text from his daughter that students would be released from school at 10:45 a.m. The school was only a few miles down the road. He was told his son was also released early from school, and left work to pick up his children. “I could see that the police were barricading roads close to the river,” he said.

Kady and other residents were informed that the flooding in Estes Park had escalated so quickly that many of the dams were already overflowing, which meant that additional water would be released into the canyon. The children were dismissed from school because no one knew for certain what would happen when the flood waters spilled out of the narrow canyon entrance.

Colorado: Water is Rising Fast

Flooding in south Loveland, Colorado. Photo by eyewitness Melody Glinsman, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Kady and his family are prepared to evacuate, and he lives near the evacuation center at the local high school, but he suspects evacuation will only be required if one of the dams break overnight; he will most likely take his children to stay with family. “I feel we are adequately prepared in the event of an emergency. I have bottled water and plenty of canned food, flashlights, blankets, and just about anything else we might need for a couple of days,” Kady said. “It also helps to have plenty of family in the area.”

This photo, by Melody Glinsman, was taken late in the evening of September 12, 2013. According to Glinsman, who was assessing the damage with her family, “We had to get out of there. The water was rising fast!”

The water is rising fast, all over Colorado – we’ll be watching for the floods to subside.

Resources

Facebook. Lyons Colorado. (2013). Accessed September 13, 2013.

City of Fort Collins. Warning System. (2013). Accessed September 13, 2013.

Larimer County Emergency Information. (2013). Accessed September 13, 2013.

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