How things can change in a few days.
We’ve lived here in Boulder for only five years and can now say we’ve experienced the proverbial 100 (1000?) year flood. I’d guess our neighborhood has gotten 13 inches of rain by now, since it began Monday evening. Our annual precipitation is supposed to be around 19 inches.
UPDATE 6PM: Just heard that SE Boulder had the most rain of anywhere in this event at 18.55 inches! That’s where I live, so I’m at ground zero. The forecast is for .40 more by morning.
I can’t say that I’m feeling lucky today, because having a foot of water in one’s basement can hardly be considered lucky, but everything is relative and at our house we’re mostly dealing with first world problems. We are much luckier than so many others who live in Boulder and surrounding areas.
We’re lucky to have retained power, clean water, a functioning sewer system, and still have hot water thanks to our solar. We’re lucky to be able bodied to deal with the situation, and to have two strong sons who could help yesterday. We’re lucky to have a next door neighbor who sits slightly higher than our house and has a dry basement to lend us big fans. We’re lucky our basement drain worked well, so that using a sump pump might not have even been necessary.
A neighbor a block away had 4 feet of water in the basement, and not too much farther away they are having sewer backup problems.
This was one of my jobs yesterday. I cut carpet and tore padding and rolled it up.
We worked so hard all day long yesterday that our bodies are sore, and finally we took a break to watch the 10 o’clock news last night to see the devastation in the whole area. It is astounding.
I’m saddened by what this has done to my beautiful community, often referred to as a perfect little town. The economic damage to individuals and businesses will be horrendous not to mention the physical damage to buildings, roads, and infrastructure. The area’s organic farmers will be pushed to the brink as they are dealing with flooding and a loss of income during what should be their most lucrative time of year.
When we bought our 50-year old house, I remember thinking how much I appreciated the fact that it was an older house without any “smells”. That was all I needed to be motivated to get as much done as possible yesterday.
There are certainly the psychological aspects to these things happening, like why did I save this in the first place, why does my spouse value these things, why did I have my college graduation diploma and professional certifications and some framed family photos in a cardboard box with other stuff on the floor of the basement? Why do we save stuff anyway? What’s worth saving? Why didn’t we have flood insurance? Why this and why that.
We have different piles in our driveway right now that mean different things. Driveways up and down the streets of our neighborhood look similar.
This is the garbage pile.
This is the removed carpet and padding pile.
Organization that should have been tended to sooner was forced upon us. That is a good thing.
We intentionally bought into a neighborhood that was categorized as being in the 500-year flood plain area on the Boulder city flood map, a map that they’ll be redrawing following this event. I can already see that in view of my previous post on Thursday, Bear Creek is too close to us for comfort. What happened Thursday night was that Bear Creek had already overflown and saturated the ground in our area, and then when the Boulder Creek surge came through it pushed up our ground water level further into our basements. Our part of town faired amongst the worst of any on Thursday night.
Current rainy conditions ~ photos taken in the past hour
Right now it is 11AM Sunday morning and it is absolutely pouring rain. I’d guess we’ve gotten an inch already in the last hour. It rained last night, too, but the rain is supposed to end by late afternoon.
Today’s jobs will be removing the bottom 3 feet of drywall and carpet tack strips.
Some fascinating weather reports are emerging about the fantastical conditions that converged to cause this thousand-year event. I have my own theory. I think it was the revenge of Al Bartlett. He passed Saturday and the rains began Monday.