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  1. #1
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    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography

    I went back there to see if things have improved. And to document flooded buildings for clients. Well...Boulder Creek was about 2 feet higher than yesterday and there were still streets posing as rivers.

    You know that bridge you cross when you ride High Plains? Got this shot through the car window as I drove past.



    South Boulder Creek was running out of its banks south of Boulder. There was debris across the road indicating how high it had been last night.



    Everywhere I drove there was debris.



    Flatirons looked good as usual.



    Many homeowners had minor to major flooding as the curbs overflowed last night. This guy said he was flooded twice.



    Alleys were scoured by the rushing water last night. These divits were three feet deep in spots.



    Attempts to divert the water were on every block (up on The Hill)



    Yet another blocked farmer's ditch. It went from wet street to river in just a few feet. As me and the cop talked, a dad and his son forded the river. Me and the cop looked at each other and he said "we can't save everyone". I said, I'll get a pic as he and his son go flowing downhill.



    A lot of homeowners access was obliterated from the high water.



    The overflow from that blocked farmer's ditch a few blocks down the road.



    I spoke with this CU professor lady. She'd been berming up her block with neighbors and volunteers for 24 hours. Most houses just got minor flooding. If the water had gone where it was supposed to (inside the ditch), no problem. But that was happening all over Boulder.







    Folks trading flood stories. The sun had come out by this time! Notice how they're standing in running water.



    That flooded bench near the library I showed you yesterday got even more flooded last night.



    Yup, Boulder Creek was even higher today (what a sound it made!). Debris showed that it was 3-4' higher last night.





    It was spooky being on this bridge. The water level was just under the bottom of the bridge (there was debris on TOP of the bridge from last night). It made weird sounds. There were sounds like somebody throwing a huge rock into the water but it was just what was coming downstream. You could hear rocks rolling around under the water.



    Boulder High School's athletic field was a lake, not just from the rain but from overflow from Boulder Creek there.



    Last thing I did, I went up to the police road block preventing travel up Boulder Canyon. I walked past multiple news crews to the other side of the raging water. Trust me, there were so many water courses coming down it was just one big freakin' water slide over there. I went down to what appeared to be a large debris flow.





    More like a landslide. The mountain had moved down, took out some power poles (thankfully the power had been cut or I would be posting these pics from heaven). What a mess. It took out two or three buildings completely. Tough to tell--it almost looked like one big building that had been torn into three pieces.



    Either a building owner or a tenant was there, totally stressed out. She wanted to break a window and reach in to grab something she really wanted. The whole slope was very unstable. I sunk up to my hip in one step and needed help to get out. Getting anywhere near the building was risking too much.



    You'll be seeing this landslide story on the news. A bigtime newspaper photog was there doing the same shots I was. All day I was either walking in mud or flowing water.

    As I finish typing this, it started raining again. Enough!!
    Last edited by xcguy; 09-14-2013 at 06:16 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  2. #2
    Rolling
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    Cliff Grassmick of the Daily Camera has some crazy pix out there showing similar kinds of damage.

    ...and related, there is a property tax increase vote coming up for Boulder County Road repairs that was being debated on how to pay for it. I guess this flood will end the debate since a lot of stuff in Boulder County WILL have to be repaired.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman View Post
    Cliff Grassmick of the Daily Camera has some crazy pix out there showing similar kinds of damage.

    ...and related, there is a property tax increase vote coming up for Boulder County Road repairs that was being debated on how to pay for it. I guess this flood will end the debate since a lot of stuff in Boulder County WILL have to be repaired.
    The road repairs across the Front Range will cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I live in Coal Creek Canyon, and Highway 72 is simply gone in several places. Budget $10 Million + just for that one highway.

  4. #4
    lucky enough
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    Up the hill from me in Boulder

    I took a stroll up the hill today to check out some local hiking trails.
    There were several landslides along the slopes.

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-1.jpg

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-4.jpg

    Lots of rocks in an area where a guy had died. Rescue guys were still looking for the girl who was missing.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-2.jpg


    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-3.jpg

    A jeep that had lost a battle with a landslide.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-5.jpg

    Heard from a neighbor that four teens were in this car. A girl got out, slipped and was washed away. A guy went after her and his was the body that was found yesterday. We heard they found her body later today. RIP
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-6.jpg

    Another slide
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-7.jpg

    Rock debris burying a shed
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-8.jpg

    A mudslide hit this house last night. A window was broken and mud filled their house. The owners managed to find their way out after some confusion.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-9.jpg

    This is the upper part of the slide that hit them.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day2-10.jpg
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  5. #5
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    Everywhere I drove there were sections of side roads, main roads or highways gone. It was freaky driving past all the undocumented damage. Some did have yellow tape but very few. There just aren't enough backhoes and manpower to get to all this stuff unless outside help starts pouring in. And outside money.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Everywhere I drove there were sections of side roads, main roads or highways gone. It was freaky driving past all the undocumented damage. Some did have yellow tape but very few. There just aren't enough backhoes and manpower to get to all this stuff unless outside help starts pouring in. And outside money.

    This is a big, big event. There isn't enough heavy equipment, road base and concrete on the Front Range to fix all of these roads before it starts snowing. I expect we'll see a lot of temporary bridges, and roads that go unpaved until next year.

    I'm not kidding, Highway 72 in Coal Creek Canyon is a mess. Multiply that by 20 other state highways, and add in the county and local roads, plus the driveways and access roads. It would be good to be a gravel provider or dump truck driver right now.

  7. #7
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    Amazing pics...and very depressing

  8. #8
    Ride Everything
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    These are heartbreaking.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  9. #9
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    showing the true power of Mother Nature. Never would have thought water good be so destructive.


    - Dave

  10. #10
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Thanks for posting xcguy.

    Has anyone seen if Flatirons Subaru at Cherryvale and Arapaho is under water? They were working on my car and I went to pick it up Wednesday night but it wasn't done so they gave me a loaner. They said it was ok to keep the loaner on Thursday but nobody answered the phone today, not even a answering machine...
    .




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  11. #11
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by squidward View Post
    showing the true power of Mother Nature. Never would have thought water good be so destructive.

    - Dave
    Water is *the* single most destructive agent on the planet. And it's relentless.

  12. #12
    lucky enough
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    Story about the Subaru I took a picture of above. I'm dumbstruck. So very sad.

    Boulder flood victims were teen couple returning home with friends - Boulder Daily Camera

    An excerpt:
    Four young friends set off from a birthday party in the craggy hills near northwest Boulder late Wednesday, thunder clapping and rain pummeling their little silver Subaru......
    But farther down they found themselves in a mudslide that crumbled driveways and flipped a Jeep onto its roof.
    They were stuck......
    Nathan was the first to leave the car, followed by Wiyanna and Wesley. The swirling water and mud quickly swept away Wiyanna and Wesley. His friends out of sight amid the crushing floodwaters and blinding rain, Nathan clung for his life to the Subaru's side-mirror. He held on so tight it ripped off in his hands. He frantically grabbed onto branches.

    A third car rolled upon the scene carrying Andrew Slack, a volunteer firefighter equipped with a radio and little else. Slack jumped out and struggled to pull Jennings from the quickly rising rapids and mud.
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  13. #13
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Water is *the* single most destructive agent on the planet. And it's relentless.
    Very true. It's what keeps us alive and an amazing store of energy. We live and die by water.

  14. #14
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    At some time yesterday I took a short drive up a canyon that was still open (driving around the pylons that skirted washed out parts of the main road). Lots of semi-washed out areas, some seemingly untouched. OTOH, driveways that crossed what is normally just a trickle (going through pretty big pipes underneath), well that was hit and miss. First pic is one that remained intact. Just 50' down the road that driveway wasn't so lucky.

    Just one vignette of the damage everywhere. Imagine what it's going to take to rebuild that drive, the manpower and resources. Which are bound to be elsewhere dealing with more important issues. Plus, that's the homeowner's only access.

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-1-dsc_6826.jpg

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-2-dsc_6828.jpg
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  15. #15
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    Thoughts/prayers to all!

  16. #16
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    I had an update all ready to go and my Photobucket account started acting up. So here's a mini-version using mtbr's uploader. I have no idea what order these will be in but:

    I went back to Boulder today. Hard hit areas I looked at were all being cleaned up by Boulder heavy equipment. Major streets had been plowed of the debris that was laying around yesterday. Major road repair, well, that's in the future.

    The upper Arapahoe Ave. area (with the demolished building I showed you) had dump trucks, backhoes and front end loaders scooping up the debris. To make a long story short, the stressed out lady who was dying to get into her office and get some stuff out did this morning. Her and fellow tenants got a window open and had been taking stuff out all morning. She was positively giddy that she got her heirloom paintings and such out. She took me by my hand and gave me a tour.

    So now, without being able to comment further or arrange these as I'd want to, here are some pics. It in fact was one building split in two by the landslide. I went inside and it was really strange: floors at 30 degree slope, no plumb lines anywhere, 2x4 wall plates with nails sticking out, insulation, drywall...a real mess. Everyone was pretty happy because they were able to get stuff out. Just imagine what you have in your office and what you wished you could get out in times of disaster.

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-01-dsc_7069.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-02-dsc_7079.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-03-dsc_7087.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-04-dsc_7092.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-05-dsc_7093.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-06-dsc_7100.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-07-dsc_7102.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-08-dsc_7106.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-09-dsc_7112.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-10-dsc_7116.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-11-dsc_7119.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-12-dsc_7121.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-13-dsc_7122.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-14-dsc_7144.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-15-dsc_7148.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-16-dsc_7150.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-17-dsc_7158.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-18-dsc_7170.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-19-dsc_7189.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-20-dsc_7203.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-21-dsc_7215.jpg
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  17. #17
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    Let me just say: kudos for all the work you've done to document this. As a former Boulderite with a ton of friends there it's been really frustrating trying to get information and really imagine/visualize the devastation. As much as any photos of a disaster can be, these are great.

    I am amazed people are going into some of these structures - it appears they are fundamentally compromised and I'd be scared of the house collapsing on my head, I think.

    Incredible photos, keep up the great work. I'll be watching the NCAR site tonight and thinking of all of you.

    -Walt
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  18. #18
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    Glad to help. I've taken over 1000 shots of this event and I've shown you all about 50. What I was struck by yesterday was the volunteering going on to help neighbors or just those who needed help. I'd ask somebody "so how's your basement doing?" and replies would be like "I don't know, I don't live here, I'm just helping out" as they were shoveling sand to berm up in front of a house.

    Today the activity of the City cleanup crews was confidence inspiring. They were all business, no standing around, got a huge job to take care of, trucks coming and going. Hope it's like that area-wide.

    Of course, cleanup is one thing, repairing major infrastructure damage is quite another. But it's a start.

    Here's the trailhead at Doudy Draw:

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-1-dsc_6975.jpgBack to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-2-dsc_6977.jpg
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  19. #19
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    Fantastic pics xcguy. Reminds me of the windsor tornado few years back as my brothers home was hit. Amazing that within hours the county road people, xcel energy and a ton of volunteers were on the scene cleaning up the mess. We can always ***** about how many guys standing around for some little job, but when push comes to shove, these guys stand up and work their ass off.

  20. #20
    Kaj
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    Not sure if any of you have seen this one. Salina (town at the end of Four Mile Canyon) has been wiped out. I hope everyone made it to higher ground. Trails in this area, like Todd Gulch & Switzerland are likely f'd, but right now that's the least of our worries.

    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  21. #21
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    crazy pictures.

    life seems normal where i am in south boulder, besides the basement carpet getting soaked.

    have just been staying off the streets & out of the way of emergency personnel. maybe time to volunteer on monday if i dont have to work.

  22. #22
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    This one stings for the Crosier fans. Always enjoyed riding through Glen Haven.

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-1185466_607726782612401_157802570_n.jpg

  23. #23
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    Here is the Glen Haven video. Its been posted and reposted on Facebook today.


  24. #24
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    Boulder Saturday

    The first one is from yesterday actually. I expect a run on shovels on the Front Range the next few days.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-11.jpg

    Got out on the bike today trying to get some exercise. This is Eben G FIne park. I visited this a couple of days ago and the mud and rocks are about 5 times higher now.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-10.jpg

    This was all grass and bike path. Random grill was deposited.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-9.jpg

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-8.jpg

    On the way to Chautauqua. Mud deposit.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-7.jpg

    Folks trying to be helpful put sticks in the eroded curb. Lots of road erosion here and there.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-6.jpg

    Chautauqua entrance
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-5.jpg

    Mud flow scarp. I focused on these a lot - the geologist in me.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-4.jpg

    As XCguy said.lots of folks helping with cleanup. About a dozen people were carrying buckets of mud out of a house and dumping them in the street for the big guys to take care of.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-3.jpg

    Many scarps along Bear Creek.
    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-2.jpg

    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography-boulder-flood-day3-1.jpg
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  25. #25
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    Back to Boulder for a second day of flood photography

    I checked out a bit more of the Coal Creek trail in Louisville today with my kids. In a word - a mixed bag. The sections that are about 6-7 feet above the creek are fine. Below that the surface has been washed away and in a few spots the entire trail is gone.

    Still, I already saw bike tracks in it and a bunch of cyclocrossers riding it. One thing that amazed me was how firm the ground was considering it had 6 feet of gushing water on top of it. I could tell that in places the water marks were up to my head. Scary the volume of water that went down here.

    These granite rocks were part of the embankment protection of the railroad bridge. Now 100 ft downstream and on top of the trail path.


    The slab on it's side and resting against the pylon used to be part of the trail bed. The trail is washed away here.




    Top of the trail is scoured clean and is totally missing beneath the bridge.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 09-15-2013 at 09:26 AM.

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