In a mere five days, Boulder, Colorado was flooded by over 15 inches of rain. The states Governor, John Hickenlooper, commented on the staggering amount of rain saying that, “Given the drought situation we’ve had, it was almost a year’s worth of rain.”
The flood left five confirmed deaths and another 482 people still unaccounted for. It is said that the high numbers may simply be due to lack of communication between the missing and their loved ones.
The National Guard and Boulder’s Office of Emergency Management have been working together to rescue those who are still unaccounted for. On Saturday, a National Guard helicopter saved 78 children that got stranded on a field trip during the storm. More than 2,500 people have been rescued. For these lucky people, not much is left of their beloved home.
The city has much rebuilding to do; many of its roads and bridges are gone. According to CNN, “Boulder County alone will need an estimated $150 million to repair 100 to 150 miles of roadway and 20 to 30 bridges.” The total cost of the repairs will be 10 to 15 times their annual budget. Many are finding travel difficult as several of the main roads had to be closed down.
President Obama has ordered for federal aid to assist Boulder County. The President enacted a major disaster declaration under FEMA. The declaration reported severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides.
The sustained rain may have been caused by a “low-pressure weather system” suspended over Nevada that is “drawing the moist air out of Mexico into the Rockies’ foothills.”
Fortunately, a silver lining of sorts lies ahead for Colorado. Kim Kobel, a spokesperson for Boulder’s Office of Emergency Management, expects “some steady rain over the next 12 hours,” bur that it shouldn’t be more than 1 to 2 more inches. Despite their recent struggles, Boulder’s inhabitants will recover. Larimer County Sheriff Smith says of the towns residents, “inch by inch, mile by mile, community by community, they are taking this stuff back.”