Friday, September 13, 2013

Keep Your Powder Dry

Tropical storms?  Hurricanes?  Routine South FL stuff. We've been through several.

A first for us in CO.

The rain started Wednesday and rarely stopped until late Friday. Per the city emergency management people, Longmont experienced a 500 year flood with rain totals varying from five to almost fifteen inches depending on where it was measured.  A 500 year flood  doesn't mean that sort of flood will only happen every 500 years. It can happen several times in any given year. A 500-year flood is one that only has a 0.2% chance of being equaled or exceeded each year. The 100-year flood has a 1.0% chance of occurring during a year.

Took a bike ride near one of the flooded neighborhoods
Longmont is divided north/south by the St. Vrain River. The river overflowed its banks on Wednesday, crested on Thursday and is still well above flood stage. We live north of the river and have had no standing water issues and never lost power. All along the river, homes are flooded. The newspaper is already carrying stories of people with flooded houses but no flood insurance because the water "never gets this high".  But it did.  When we lived in South Florida, we always carried flood insurance even though we didn't live in a designated FEMA flood zone because you can never tell just how much water a tropical storm or hurricane will dump. The typical homeowners policy covers wind driven water, i.e. rain, but not rising water, i.e a flood so if your house floods and you don't have flood insurance you are simply out of luck.
At this point, there are no open roads in this area that cross the St. Vrain River. The Old Timers are saying they have never seen a storm quite like this. The last 100 year flood in Boulder County was in 1894. There are several mountain towns that are totally isolated because all the roads have been destroyed by the floods.

The rain was a good leak test for the camper. I took a flashlight and carefully inspected everything that might leak. Found nothing.

We had planned on leaving Longmont on Friday, the 13th to drift slowly south to ABQ.  At this point, I-25 between here and Denver is closed because of flooding and a part of I-70 was down to one lane because of falling rocks.  We'll leave Sunday if we can.

Another change of plans:
A few minutes ago, it was announced that the local schools would be closed until Thursday because of flood damage and road closures. Of course Suzanne and Chris will be working, so we'll be taking care of Izzy and Oliver until Wednesday. Nice thing about being retired. No place we just have to be at any certain time.

The summer garden is doing great. Lots and lots of zucchini and yellow squash. We've been keeping our neighbors supplied. A good crop of Anaheim Peppers, lots of cherry tomatoes, a dozen, or so, raspberries  and three blackberries. 

A zucchini flower


Anonymous said...

Glad the flooding did not affect you directly, but what a drenching your area has gotten. See you in Albuquerque!!!

Donna K said...

Oh my, that's a lot of water. Hope you are able to get out of there on Wednesday.