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  1. #1
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    More pics of the flood up in Boulder from Saturday

    I decided to give today a miss as I've been a wet dog up there for the past three days. Guess you're not getting tired of me posting pics of this event so here's some more:

    Yesterday I drove past the bridge at High Plains. It's still there, lots of debris covering the trail:



    I drove up towards Eldorado Springs. The town itself looked unscathed--I didn't know what to expect. Here's some pics of the gate at Doudy Draw, then across the street from it and some washout of the paved road (a scene repeated a gazillion times all over the entire area):







    Neighborhoods taking wet stuff out to dry.



    Back to that river on 7th Street. Supposedly the crews had cleaned out the stoppage to let Gregory Creek run through the culvert but it would stop right back up.



    When you look at what is NOT going through the culvert, it didn't seem like that much up close. But farther down the road it was a river.



    I kid you not. This was laying on the sidewalk next to the water.



    A homeowner right down the street was filling in where the overflow had scoured out a deep pit on the other side of the curb.





    I asked him about his flood insurance. He said he didn't have any. That rider on his home owner policy would be $15k with a $10k deductible so he's been putting away $10k yearly...for a rainy day.

    The other side of his driveway.



    That drainage was a continuance of Gregory Creek but only part was going into it. What did go in there resulted in the overflow you saw in my other pics coming off that retaining wall. The rest went down 7th and was bermed away, sort of successfully, by the neighbors there.



    So, yeah, the City was there doing their thing. But what the City decided to do was to not use the neighbor's berm, cut a channel back at the corner and try to force ALL the water back into the drainage ditch so no other properties along 7th would continue to be affected. Neighbors didn't like the fact all their hard earned bermage was being destroyed and were dubious that the water would then in the planned direction. Seeing as they've just lived through three days of the water coming up over the curbs and into their homes---why force the water there again they asked?



    Two disgruntled neighbors. I'd been talking to them for three days and they were about tapped out.



    One said "we worked so hard on this berm. Want to see my bruises from carrying sandbags!?!"



    This is the berm built at the bottom of 7th. The apartment complex behind me (featuring "garden level" basement apartments) never had a chance.



    Back to that destroyed building. The ingress was doable. The egress carrying furniture and whatnot wasn't so easy.
    Sooner or later the path would be cleared so they could perhaps drive up much closer. As it was, they had to carry stuff over the debris flow, down the entrance driveway and across the bridge over Boulder Creek to the end of Canyon Blvd. But they were determined 'cause they didn't know when the police were going to seal off access.





    The view out the back, looking down past the shattered first level. Nobody was trying to get anything out from down there.



    Guys trimming branches in preparation for Xcel.



    "This was the waiting room" she explained.





    The long trek with their personal items.



    The lady who I met the day before, from fully stressed to full-on moving mode. I marveled at the amount of work she'd been accomplishing since I last saw her. She said "hey, I'm a Colorado girl!"



    The road block at the mouth of Boulder Canyon.



    Yes, the level had dropped a bit. The bench was fully exposed. There was a phenomenal amount of sandy silt in the Boulder Library parking lot. Heck, everywhere.



    I thought tennis balls were indestructible?

    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  2. #2
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    Thanks for all the pics; my wife is good friends with the 'stressed-out' lady, and she was wondering about her office last night. I've never met her before, but when I read your description and saw the pics in the other thread, I knew who it had to be. I'm glad to read that she's doing better. It must've been a really hard couple of days.

  3. #3
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    Crazy how much damage occurred up there. Best wishes to everyone.
    Blur LT & Highball

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    My thoughts and prayers are with y'all... I lived right by CU until about a year ago... moved to California for a job. I love Boulder so much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
    Thanks for all the pics; my wife is good friends with the 'stressed-out' lady, and she was wondering about her office last night. I've never met her before, but when I read your description and saw the pics in the other thread, I knew who it had to be. I'm glad to read that she's doing better. It must've been a really hard couple of days.
    Yup, that smashed building she had her office in was a microcosm of the scope of the damage done: I counted something like 8 or 9 business just on the second floor (business names on the doors). Office records, clients left hanging, insurance to deal with, flow of the businesses totally disrupted. No loss of life there, thank God.

    I used to build homes, so I was looking at what it would take to actually rebuild on that same spot given the change in the terrain and drainage. So much debris to clean away (that goes where?). Times thousands of other spots in the same position up and down the Front Range.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  6. #6
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    Been a rough few days so many of us, we are better off than others yet our townhome was flooded as well as our car. A few pics I snapped the other day...












  7. #7
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    Amazing set of aerial photos of the flood damage here:

    PHOTOS: Colorado Flood damage aerial views
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  8. #8
    The 5th knuckle
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    Pretty nasty damage and all, not to get off track, but did you use a tilt-shift or post process this?
    I'll wager a guess, post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycastlerock View Post
    Pretty nasty damage and all, not to get off track, but did you use a tilt-shift or post process this?
    I'll wager a guess, post.

    I was using my famous hand-held-in-one-hand-shooting-through-my-car-window technique while driving by at 55mph, keeping my eyes on the road, hoping I was pointing in the right direction. My body was tilting but, no, I wasn't shifting.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  10. #10
    The 5th knuckle
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    I was using my famous hand-held-in-one-hand-shooting-through-my-car-window technique while driving by at 55mph, keeping my eyes on the road, hoping I was pointing in the right direction. My body was tilting but, no, I wasn't shifting.
    Ahhh - I used to have a couple tilt-shifts and they are a lot of fun. You can slide them up/down sideways and get some cool ways to mess with perspective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  11. #11
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    I checked out spots you're familiar with from my other threads on Monday.

    7th St. flooding? Same as it ever was. The pipe under the street was still blocked, a river was still rushing down 7th.





    The difference now was the water is mostly rushing onto University and pooling up there, trying to get down past the blocked street drains. The normal for Gregory Creek is maybe 1/3 full. If all that water NOT going through that blocked pipe WAS going through, this ditch would be maybe 1/2 full.



    I guess the City made the call that this "solution" was better than what the neighborhood had come up with. They know more than me but I asked a City worker with a shovel "why don't they park a backhoe here and keep cleaning out that blocked grate over the pipe". He said they have cleaned it out but it keeps stopping up (you've heard me say this before). A neighbor I talked with said when they did unblock it, the water flow down 7th stopped. Then started again.



    There was a pic that went viral all over the national media of workers "frantically" building this berm to "save the neighborhood from flooding". I even saw it in The New York Daily News. The backstory was that the City was just building it to divert the flow as described. No homes were in danger of flooding except for damp carpets and such.



    Then I headed over to the end of Arapahoe to see how cleanup was going. The street had been scraped free of the debris flow and business owners were going about the task of hauling the mud out of their places. An endless task repeated all over the Front Range.





    The backside of that demolished building. Truly at ground level now.



    There weren't any tenants getting stuff out of there. The far wall had been pushed up to this wall.





    The path to the window the upper floor tenants laddered up to.



    The front on this blue sky day.



    Xcel (actually a subcontrator named "PAR") working on the downed power poles. First bulldozing out the 6' of debris covering the parking lot, removing the old pole (disconnecting the power wires), digging a new hole for the new pole, securing new pole in place, drilling new holes exactly where the holes in the busted pole were. I'm just going through all that to demonstrate how even the smallest tasks can only be done one step at a time. Rebuilding highways? It boggles the mind how much work there is to be done in the coming year.





    I walked up the new riverbed in back for awhile, then went up and onto undisturbed land. 50' from the devastation it looked pretty normal. Flowers blooming, shrooms sprouting up. Really huge boulders were dislodged.



    I Google Earthed this area. The new river is actually just a coming together of two steep slopes that ended somewhere up the mountain. No real riverbed, maybe an occasional seasonal snow melt drainage. I went up quite a ways but decided maybe hiking on that saturated slope wasn't such a good idea. What I did get an idea of was how much debris dislodged and screamed down the slope. It happened at night so no one was in the building.



    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  12. #12
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    OK. It's been a week since the rains started in earnest. The sun is out, things are drying out. Let's take a looksee up in Boulder.

    7th St? Well...the City inspectors are out wondering what to do about the water that is STILL flooding down 7th. Turns out Gregory Creek, even though the volume of water coming into this pipe has diminished somewhat and is all going into the pipe, is STILL coming up the drainage grates because there's a blockage underneath 7th. Hmmmm....







    Everyone was surprised at the size of this fish that landed on the street.



    And the water just keeps flowing across the street. I drove all over Boulder and there are, in fact, spots where there is no water running in the streets. It's true.





    The homeowners on 7th have taken down their barriers and are bringing out their soaked stuff.



    Water continues to pool up on University.



    My uneducated guess is that they're going to have to rebuild this creek underpass area. It just isn't working. The City put out a news release that said that their charts and graphs predicting what would happen in some monster flood like this one were right in some areas but other things popped up they just weren't expecting. This area is one of them. It's almost like a "test by bigtime flood". You find out what doesn't work and fix it.



    The restringing of the power lines up at that demolished commercial building is coming along.



    Just as expected, the City has declared the premises off limits.



    There are multiple dropoff sites in town for homeowners to take their soaked stuff. This one is at 7th and Dellwood (behind North Boulder Park) had a continual stream of people coming in.





    OTOH, there are plenty of homeowners without trucks to haul away their stuff. A lady in the parking lot was handing out these flyers:



    I drove all around seeing where I could get to. There were closed streets everywhere: Boulder Canyon, Lee Hill once it starts heading upwards, Linden, Foothills HWY---I couldn't even get to Left Hand Canyon. Hey, I wanted to drive to Lyons to get a pic of Dave's shop! This is Linden: debris everywhere and water still running down the streets.

    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  13. #13
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    I'm glad I was the second person to put stuff in that dumpster! I saw it being driven there.
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  14. #14
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    The flood waters have diminished. There are no new flood warnings being issued. Things are sort of kind of back to normal. Except for the endless cleanup and infrastructure rebuilding to come.

    The bench near the Boulder Library is useable. The parking lot has a ways to go. Baby steps, right?



    The bike path under the Broadway bridge is coming around. Now about all that sand...





    You can almost tell that there is, indeed, a bike path going under that bridge.



    That monolith depicting flood stages is leaning a bit due to, probably, being undercut by this year's epic flood.





    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  15. #15
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    Where was your shovel?
    Tequila tonight, tomorrow we ride!

  16. #16
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    Thanks for posting the pics and detailed descriptions, you absolutely can't get close to understanding the scope of this disaster in the media. It's stale old news now that the immediacy is gone.

    But as your pics detail...there are months...years left to working through this mess.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

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