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Old 09-14-2013, 10:20 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,855,591 times
Reputation: 9139

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"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a noise?" This adage applies well to the current Colorado flood situation. It is not so much that the current floods are of "epic" proportions (though they are admittedly in the large category in the historical sense), they are viewed as "epic" by the current population because so much human junk has been built in their path in the last 50 or so years. The effect of all of that development is two-fold: first, there are a lot more people and their stuff in the way of the flooding, and, second, the development itself--paving, disturbance of riparian areas, stream channeling, etc.--tends to amplify the effects of heavy rainfall. So, as is the case with so many things these days, it isn't Mother Nature that's causing the problem, it's how humans are interacting with the natural environment (poorly, usually) that is causing the "disaster." In the metaphoric sense, there are a lot more people to hear the tree fall--and potentially be right under it.

 
Old 09-14-2013, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,090 posts, read 12,475,857 times
Reputation: 26116
Flash Flood Watch until Sunday evening for western Colorado:

* A SLOW MOVING SYSTEM WILL BE CROSSING EASTERN UTAH AND
WESTERN COLORADO THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING. THIS WILL CONTINUE TO
GENERATE AREAS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE WATCH
AREA...SOME OF WHICH MAY CONTAIN MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL
AMOUNTS.

* SOILS ARE CLOSE TO OR AT SATURATION FROM RECENT RAINFALL IN MANY
AREAS. ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAINFALL IN THESE AREAS WILL QUICKLY
LEAD TO EXCESS RUNOFF. A RAPID RESPONSE OF RISING WATER IS
EXPECTED IN NORMALLY DRY WASHES AND SMALLER CREEKS...CREATING CONDITIONS
FAVORABLE FOR FLASH FLOODING.
 
Old 09-14-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,877,837 times
Reputation: 9324
Although I am surprised by the epic amounts of precipitation, I am not in the least surprised that greater than normal amounts have been falling this summer. This is an example of Momma Gaia balancing things out, going from one extreme to the other. It happens all the time. I witnessed this balancing act again and again back in PA when I was growing up. We'd have a 2 or 3 week very dry spell ( yeah, they'd freak out because the lawns were turning brown, and they couldn't play with their lawn mowers! ), then all hell would break loose with copious amounts of rain, swelling the creeks to the point of overflow for a few hours. What is astounding, is just how much rain has fallen on the northern front range of Colorado in the past few days. Only thing coming close in PA was on those rare occasions when the remnants of an Atlantic hurricane would pass thru and bring massive flooding.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 09-14-2013 at 12:27 PM..
 
Old 09-14-2013, 12:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
"Just" weather, eh? Well, let's see:

Devastating long-term drought haunts the U.S. Southwest. There are water wars under way between Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.

We have outbreaks of at least 5 different species of pernicious insects like pine beetle which have, so far, destroyed enough forest in so many places in the Western US that it's the equivalent to the size of the state of Washington. Imagine Washington State covered in forest - all of the trees dead.

We have had two major forest fires in Colorado Springs region, one right after another - Waldo Canyon last year; Black Forest this year. My dear, Colorado Springs doesn't have fires any more than the Saint Vrain is a raging torrent of water, dividing any town it flows through in half. The St. Vrain is a nice little Colorado trout stream - a good place to fly fish for "tight assed little brookies," as Colorado author John Gierach calls them. I used to know Gierach. He lives in Lyons close to the St. Vrain. I hope his home isn't underwater tonight.

We have the 100/500 year (whatever) flood with the Boulder region declared a national disaster area.

All of these things wham, wham, wham one after another. Just weather?

What more do you want? Hurricane Katrina?
Well, that didn't come out quite the way I meant it. Yes, CO has some wild weather, on a fairly consistent basis. Every 100 years (or so) we should expect the 100 year flood. That's what I meant. I've been hearing about the upcoming flood for a few decades now. (Last really bad one in Boulder was in 1894., 119 years ago.)
 
Old 09-14-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: high plains
496 posts, read 704,376 times
Reputation: 455
Right now, many people are, understandably so, grieving losses and injuries. As the disaster continues, then abates (we hope), those who are expert in such matters will begin to assess the environmental and socio-economic damage. Historical perspectives and current science should serve to provide some guidance and forecasting of at least the near-term responses to that damage. How permanent is the population displacement? How much of the fire replanting was washed away? How will the land react to the coming snowpack and snowmelt this winter? How will people rebuild homes and infrastructure? Has anything been learned about how to mitigate the damage or prepare for the next "event" and season(s)? How many millions of dollars will need to be budgeted and acquired to fund those efforts? Many people will necessarily be focused on short-term survival and rescue, but many others will have the luxury to begin looking ahead to Colorado's future. I certainly don't mean this to sound callous, but, rather, hopeful - something I picked up on in the aftermath of tornadoes and hurricanes.
 
Old 09-14-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,090 posts, read 12,475,857 times
Reputation: 26116
Snow advisory for tonight in the San Juans above 12,000 feet.
 
Old 09-14-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,877,837 times
Reputation: 9324
@Jim....Let it snow, let it snow.....up there in the high country.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 09-14-2013 at 04:07 PM..
 
Old 09-14-2013, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
121 posts, read 253,763 times
Reputation: 386
History repeats itself.
www.telcomhistory.org/vm/disastersPueblo.shtml
 
Old 09-14-2013, 06:19 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,855,591 times
Reputation: 9139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairwinds View Post
Not really. The 1921 Pueblo flood was caused by very different weather conditions than the current flooding on the Front Range. The Pueblo flood was caused by two days of localized storms that remained stationary over tributary watersheds of the Arkansas River, not the regional type rain event that has occurred along the Front Range over the last few days. Also, the Pueblo flood occurred in early June, before the main push of Southwest Monsoonal moisture hit Colorado. About the only two things that the 1921 Pueblo flood and today's flooding have in common is that they occurred in Colorado and that it rained a lot. Beyond that, not much.
 
Old 09-14-2013, 09:00 PM
 
6,405 posts, read 3,356,515 times
Reputation: 6601
UNBELIEVABLE video of Upper Bear Creek flooding in Evergreen! Hard to believe a Sherrif would try to drive through that.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3z3WmTf...%3D3z3WmTf8lL0
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