Mar 14 2014

Video Friday: Incredible Footage of 2013 Flooding at Glen Haven, Colorado

Glen Haven flood damage

During the 2013 Colorado Floods, Glen Haven up the canyon of the North Fork of the Big Thompson River was hit particularly hard. County Road 43 through here as well as other main roads were just annihilated in this area and many folks had to be rescued by helicopter in the days after the peak of the flood. Their recovery is far from over and the town has struggled to rebuild.

Map picture

The footage below is simply some astounding footage compiled around Glen Haven of the North Fork of the Big Thompson River and some of its tributaries. Roads that look like rivers and washed out bridges as well as rescue footage, this video is worth the 10 minutes to watch.

Did you catch the hummingbird? Don’t forget about the folks of Glen Haven!

Mar 10 2014

A Few Good Reads (3/10/14): Colorado’s Snowpack Grows and the Response to the 2013 Floods Continues

This week: The snowpack in the South Platte River basin keeps going up, delayed repairs on a damaged bridge on the St. Vrain Creek due to the presence of some eagles, an intriguing video on how wolves impact rivers, an ecological perspective on the 2013 Colorado floods, Christchurch, New Zealand receives a month of rain in a day, and looking at Dutch flood control in light of the recent devastating floods in the U.K.The snowpack for Colorado keeps climbing and we have not even reached March and April (and the beginning of May!) when we made up half our snowpack in Northern Colorado last year. The Big Thompson (flooded in September of last year) watershed snowpack is up to nearly 150% of average and one snowpack site for the St. Vrain Creek basin (also flooded last year) is at nearly 200% of average! It’s snowing again here in Fort Collins even I write this…

Snowpack news (% of avg): The Upper Rio Grande basin climbs to 90% #COdrought (Coyote Gulch)

All Colorado River basins are reporting above average snowpack, except for southwestern Colorado which is 5 to 15 percent below average. Reported readings for the major river basins in Colorado are as follows: Colorado River Basin 137 percent; Gunnison River Basin, 114 percent; South Platte River Basin,145 percent; Yampa and White River Basins, 122 percent; Arkansas River Basin, 103 percent; Upper Rio Grande Basin, 85 percent; San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins 95 percent; and the Laramie and North Platte River Basins, 132 percent of average for this time of year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 07 2014

Trying to Keep Our Heads Above Water

For a little while during the past 6 months, it felt like all I saw in my dreams was flood damage. Bridge scour. Washed out roads and river banks. Culverts filled to the brim with rock and sediment. Streams doubling or tripling in width. Wood debris everywhere. Propane tanks in the middle of the channel. These were not nightmares, but simply the result of looking at flood damage day after day!

Sunset St bridge over St. Vrain in Longmont. South abutment flanked and roadway washed out.

You may have noticed that our last post was in early November and that we have had our longest absence since we started this blog. To say the least, our work as part of the flood response to the 2013 September Colorado Floods has overwhelmed us! We have had so much that we have wanted to write about but we just have not had the energy or the time.

The first thing I saw when walking into the ICC...

On October 9th, I started work as a support hydraulic engineer at the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Incident Command Center (ICC) that was set up as a central hub for all of their flood response and recovery work. I was one of just many consultants pulled into this work including roadway (majority), structural, and environmental engineers as well as surveyors and admin support folks. For a month I was a part of the Team B shift – working the Friday through Monday shift helping start to look at flood damage sites and possible solutions. By November though, an office colleague and I were pulled into teams tasked with the permanent assessments of every flood damage site of CDOT’s. My colleague, 20 years my senior and the man who taught me pretty much everything I know in regard to geomorphology, got to be a part of the primary team looking at the huge damage in the mountain corridors of the Big Thompson (U.S. 34) and the South Fork of the St. Vrain River (SH 7) as well as other various sites. My team was to focus on Coal Creek Canyon (SH 72), Boulder Canyon (SH 119) and then move east looking at damage at various sites on the South Platte River and elsewhere.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 08 2013

2013 Colorado Post Flood Video Tour

It is a humbling experience to see flooding taking place.  Just standing next to that much power is a unique experience.  Walking through a flood damaged area after the flood and witnessing the destruction, debris, and silence is an equally, but different experience.  The following videos provide a tour along the front range showing some of the destruction after the waters receded.

Post Flood Damage

Aerial photo tour

Estes Park

Read the rest of this entry »

Older posts «

» Newer posts