Gov. John Hickenlooper says the recent flooding in Colorado has "got to be the largest storm in state history" that he can imagine.
Early Thursday, we tapped our Public Insight Network for stories on how people in Boulder are coping with the rain and the flooding. Below are some of the stories we heard in response.
And the replies are still coming in. If you have a flood story click here to share how you're affected and any related photos.
Many people in central Boulder and to the east have it worse than me (right now), but I have a giant ditch behind my house that I have never seen so full of water (a raging small river now), it's typically it's 2 inches deep & a foot wide.
Very close to my foundation.
Boulder is my home...
I love this place more than anything. I take people on bike tours and show it off! This is breaking my heart. My Beautiful Boulder.....
Tonite I'm staying with friends since my house near Baseline Road in Boulder was totally overcome by torrents of floodwaters that came from nowhere and yet everywhere. My home that I've gradually bit by bit over 10 years upgraded and improved, bringing the yard along from a weed patch to a flowing garden, abruptly reduced to a near worthless, sodded disaster in a matter of hours.
Roiling muddy floodwaters burst through the back fences, tearing and gouging the yard, seeping through the ground floor and threatening to carry all our vehicles down the raging current that was once my street. With no flood insurance, I have no idea how to recover from this loss of a lifetime.
Property I was confident I could have sold within a few weeks to jump start my retirement is now destroyed and very likely under water both literally and financially. My lovely place of pride and refuge most likely a total loss. I can feel the deep psychic trauma percolating up through my core threatening to undermine my total existence.
I'm nearly homeless, far from home, plucked from my life with only a few bags, no car, no way to return to work, all my routines and activities upended with absolutely no idea of what I will do next. Worst of all, this is the same story so many of my friends and neighbors are experiencing right now with the same desperation as so many Coloradans did during the fires.
My entire community has been struck by the unthinkable tragedy of this disastrous flood. So much loss, so much horror.
What will we all do now? How will we rebuild some semblance of what we had? Is it even possible at my age?
My partner is across the world in Norway preparing his professional mountain bike team for the biggest championship race of the year. I felt so bad calling him in the middle of his night to tell him everything we have here at home is about to be lost, and to tell him I don't know if there will be anything left of our home when he does return in two weeks. He called one if his best friends a few mules away in Rock Creek to come and get me as it was the only thing he could do to help from so far away. And that is how I came to be saved, even though we had to walk many blocks through fierce currents to get to his car which would carry me to calm safety.
Though maybe not so calm now as I wonder what will become of my life.
Suddenly I'm a part of a community I never in my 60 yrs EVER imagined I would be a member of. Nothing in my well managed life has prepared me for this-it's always happened to other people. Now I will be focused on all the details and mechanics of recovery and sharing and learning w others in my situation.
Our basement has flooded. It's carpeted. I know some have it worse. Our neighborhood was just hit by golfball sized hail, and we got our roof on, but some of us in Kings Ridge neighborhood are still putting on the new roof. Uncle. Call off rain or send an arc. Some have it worse than us and we can't "compete" for worst place, but it's terrible and scary.
My daughter and I live in an apartment on Boulder Creek near 28th Street in Boulder and were evacuated today around noon with sirens, now we are in Steamboat Springs enjoying the calm and beauty of the high mountains. We went on HW 93 and just missed the wash out along Coal Creek so I feel lucky to have gotten out.
I live in the Gunbarrel neighborhood northeast of Boulder. Everything is fine here as long as my sump pump keeps running. It kicks on every 5 min or so. I work as a carpenter and therefore can't work in the rain. A week without work always hurts financially. I drove around Boulder to see how it looked. Mostly it is fine in town. The creeks are full, or over full but there is not nearly so much damage as I thought.
I have spent the morning, with four other women, at my neighbor's house pumping water out of her basement which had 2 1/2 ft. of water.
Jesus. My apartment is part of a complex that has a small pond with a couple of turtles and lots of dragonflies but this morning my friend and I walked around to find a 20+ lb pregnant fish washed up where the water apparently reached last night. It is still at least 3 feet above level. The fish must have washed through a small bridge/dam farther west from the Table Mesa Lake. Tried to return it to deep water but it was too late.
I'm a student at CU Boulder in the Smith Honors RAP Hall. I live on the second floor, so I'm not in danger of the flood itself, but all last night I heard people moving around and my roommate shared a picture of a guy floating around in the water gathered in his dorm. Despite our "high ground" status, however, the entire hall was evacuated this morning at 5 AM when the boiler in the basement overloaded and released a cloud of hot steam. This fooled the fire sensors into thinking there was smoke in the area and so the emergency beacon was automatically tripped.
We all congregated outside in the rain, and then moved into the lobby of the nearby Buckingham Hall, where they put on Legally Blonde 2 to distract us. We got back into the hall at 6:30 this morning only to be ousted again at7 AM by the fire alarm. At this point, everyone was hungry and annoyed, so we - as a hall - went to the dining hall and ate hearty breakfasts in our pajamas - and some in their robes/wrapped in their blankets. On the way there, several of us found two crawdads on the sidewalk, so I picked them both up and put them back in the grass so they wouldn't be stepped on and possibly injure themselves/someone else.
We also just learned that campus is closed tomorrow (Friday) as well, which has a lot of the girls on my all-girl floor shrieking in amusement and disbelief. I know I'll spend the next two days working on a couple of projects for my Evolution of Warfare class, but I suspect a lot of people are going to go play in the amazing amounts of mud that has surrounded the hall.
Lee--The homes on our street have extensive basement flooding. I have apx 2 feet of water in my finished basement. No way to get it out. Can't buy a pump since all stores are sold out in the Boulder/Broomfield area.
While I feel fortunate because I know there are others dealing with worse situations, we are feeling a little helpless and like our efforts to bail, vacuum, and pump the water out if our basement are rather futile.
My husband and I are already discussing how to take shifts through the night to keep more water from coming into to our basement rooms.
It's been a long day already and we are preparing as best as we can for an even longer night.
We are dealing with flood waters at our vegetable farm. ... Our irrigation ditch overflowed and is now gushing water into our irrigation holding pond. Our holding pond has also overflowed and there are rivers of water running through our fields and crops.
We're trying to block the intake for our holding pond to stop the flow of water. We've also been busy moving our tractors, etc to higher ground. Many of our crops are under water and we're not sure if they will survive all of this water.
Our son goes to Lyons High School; our daughter goes to CU. We own the Bradley Inn in downtown Boulder and have guests who can't get here from across the country for their reservations tonight, staff that risked their lives getting to downtown Boulder this morning at 6am to make breakfast for 20 guests... I guess we've been pretty affected, but were lucky, everyone is dry and safe and sound!
-Heather A. Collaton
I've just spent the last 4 hours in my car driving from just south of Boulder Creek, to DIA, and then attempted to make a meeting in Central Denver (Alameda and Leetsdale). The flooding on the roads in Aurora was so bad, I had to cancel my meeting, and head back to Boulder. ... We're just east of the CU Boulder campus. My husband was also scheduled to fly to Europe for business this morning, and he's running in to delays out at DIA.
Two feet of sewage/brown water in basement. We're using a neighbor's bathroom so as to not fill it up further. Was up all night moving everything we could out of the basement and on to the main and second floors. We've chosen to shut off our gas line, and have started to selectively turn back on non-basement electrical panels.
Our two cars were submerged in the complex parking lot. One started (amazingly) this morning even though the foot wells were full of water. The other appears to be a total loss.
What we are experiencing is on par with our immediate neighbors here in Kings Ridge in Boulder. We're safe but tired and probably going to have find another place to stay for a bit. A total pain in the neck but not extraordinary.
Where I live in Boulder Heights is closed due to land slides. Back side of Left Hand Canyon (our alternate route) is closed as well due to a portion of the road being washed out. We are locked in. I am a volunteer fire fighter so I'm getting news first hand. No pictures to show as no one is allowed out.