Friday, September 13, 2013

100 - Year Flood Hits Colorado - Boulder in a Mess!

Scene in Boulder, as Boulder Creek rose 6' and surged through the downtown area. A result of over 7 inches in 24 hrs.

A 100 year flood has now hit our state after the ferocious fires that launched this dismal summer. Blame it all on global warming? Maybe! The point is we know that global warming is projected to make the West drier, and hotter - paving the way for fires. Combine that with the ravages of the mountain pine beetle, turning trees into tinder, and you can see why we're worried about regular fiery summers.

We also know that in a greenhouse world, the warmer temperatures lead to much higher levels of precipitation as clouds become laden with moisture. This effect was forecast as long ago as the late 1970s.  If global warming is responsible, we can expect to see storms like the one in Colorado more and more frequently, oh - and storms like 'Sandy' too!

Meanwhile, no one expected the floods like we've seen the past two days, with rain pouring down at a rate typically not seen unless one is in a hurricane - such as the several I've been through, from Hurricane Cleo striking Miami in 1965, to Hurricane Betsy striking New Orleans - when I attended Loyola, to Hurricane Allen pounding Barbados.

But the scenes coming out of Boulder - shown on Rachel Maddow's  show last night- didn't lie. People running for their lives as the city's beloved creek - normally a quiet stream passing near the city's public library- overran its banks. Meanwhile, the University of Colorado closed as students were told to seek higher ground. Other students had to help bail out dorms, flooded mercilessly.

Meanwhile, Obama has approved disaster relief for Boulder and other areas, such as Aurora, parts of Denver, Lyons.

Here in the Springs, there are areas of high risk, mainly near Fountain Creek to the south of where we are. Regular bulletins are posted, such as at 6:30 this morning, informing Springs residents of the danger zones.  In our own area, the main effect has been a sodden lawn - with the nuisance dandelions finally getting drowned, hopefully permanently.

I went out this a.m. for my normal one mile speed walk, and saw little or nothing to fret over, and there was just a steady drizzle. People in danger areas are, however, at major risk, since as Gov. Hickenlooper noted this morning if you happen to find yourself facing a wave of water bearing debris it will be "like being hit with a wall of wet cement".

People in danger areas are advised to stay home.

If you are interested in helping the people of Colorado in this new crisis, please go to:

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