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Old 10-20-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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My wife and I have been looking to relocate, and Fort Collins is one of the cities on our radar.

1.) With the recent flooding, I have to ask: is flooding a major concern? How frequently does the area experience flooding conditions?

2.) I know it's more dry out there than here in the eastern US, but is the grass always brown-ish, or is that mostly just toward the end of summer? Is it dusty there?

3.) While we're on the subject of dryness and natural disasters: are wildfires and tornadoes a concern at all?

4.) According to the snowfall graph at http://www.city-data.com/city/Fort-C...-Colorado.html there is a small amount of snowfall in June and August. Is that really true? I've heard that winter lasts a long time there, but that seems hard to believe.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
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1) Flooding does happen throughout much of the state but it is pretty rare it is very destructive, these recent floods were the worst in recorded history for the area that was hit by it.

2) yes it is brown about 10 months out of the year, Colorado is borderline if not a true desert throughout much of the state, having everything green is actually pretty rare.

3) yes tornadoes and wildfires are a concern, usually one or the other throughout the state. The mountains rarely get tornadoes, but they do get fires, especially the last few years. The plains are does not really worry so much about the huge wildfires, but they do have to deal with tornadoes, 5 years ago the Windsor tornadoes actually got within a few miles of Fort Collins. While usually Colorado tornadoes are not very destructive, they can be and when they hit they hit hard.

4) yes Colorado can get snow fall at any time of the year, I lived outside of Golden a little over a decade ago, and had to clear a foot of snow off my car in mid June. That being said the amount of snowfall Colorado actually gets is usually overstated throughout much of the country, it is on average pretty warm throughout the year, and when it snows in the summer that snow is usually trace amounts overnight, with 70 degree weather that afternoon.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:07 PM
 
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Colorado is definitely experiencing some extreme weather lately and will take a few years to see if it is the norm or a fluke. A real shame for those who lost so much. I haven't been back in a couple of years but friends say that the floods and fires have really left some scars.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:24 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Flooding, Dryness, and Natural Disasters

If any of these ^^^ are on your radar as risks to future quality of life... you need to be very careful where you choose to relocate (Colorado or elsewhere). Many regions on Earth have unique KNOWN issues and unlimited unknown. The Mtn & Plains States and SW USA have a high probability of (more) serious water issues. Worth considering...

Need to know a whole lot more about your priorities and objectives to choosing a new place.
There are reasonable alternatives to mitigate your risks (within and beyond Colorado).
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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1. Flooding: Very little impact on FC. The town is located where it is not affected much by heavy rains or flooding.

2. Brown? I don't think so. If you want brown go to SoCal where there is virtually no rain from May to November. FC gets rain all summer and the fields and lawns are green. The brown time here is in the winter. Starting around the first of December the trees have lost leaves and the laws and fields have turned brown. Will stay that way until April.

3. Wildfires and tornadoes? In FC? Never to my knowledge. Wildfires do occur in the mountains. And tornadoes do not come this close to the mountains.

4. Snow in June and August? That would be a really weird occurrence. Snow can occur in significant amounts in October, but will be gone soon due to warm temps. Big month for snow is March, but again the warm temps mean that it is not around for long.

Things you forgot: Cold nights. Starting around 4 pm in the winter it get very cold at night. Dry air. Winter humidity outside is round 15%. You'll need humidifiers to stay comfortable. Wind, wind and more wind. It blows a lot. Searing sun in the summer. At these high altitudes the sun stings and burns in the summer. I always loved CA sun but hate CO sun. Not enough atmosphere overhead to filter the rays.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:37 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobmw View Post
1. Flooding: Very little impact on FC. The town is located where it is not affected much by heavy rains or flooding.

2. Brown? I don't think so. If you want brown go to SoCal where there is virtually no rain from May to November. FC gets rain all summer and the fields and lawns are green. The brown time here is in the winter. Starting around the first of December the trees have lost leaves and the laws and fields have turned brown. Will stay that way until April.

3. Wildfires and tornadoes? In FC? Never to my knowledge. Wildfires do occur in the mountains. And tornadoes do not come this close to the mountains.
Ah yes... Does BLOW a bit in FC (being close to WY and all). Nothing like the 'breeze' they get in Boulder and Co Springs (closer to Mtns). I woke one morning to see my Neighbor's house GONE!!! blown away in the night near Masonville.

Not to be contrary,,, but to be 'informed...
but BROWN!!! Yikes... trouble for me (coming from PNW), BUT... Front Range Colorado is REALLY brown 9 months / yr. The first few times I brought my family back to Colorado in Late summer or winter... They thought we were in 'Moon Scape' It is REALLY brown, dull and trees and buildings are SHORT ) compared to 300' tall trees in our forest and much taller buildings in cities in PNW (No tornadoes).

Fires / Floods... Let's see... The ranch I grew up on in Masonville (7 miles from Ft Collins), has burnt once and flooded twice in recent yrs. Another High Ranch (Between Glen Haven and Estes Park... Same story). Nearly every yr the low lying neighbors and creeks trough our ranch flooded a few times. I built LOTS of fence that got washed out, and the river was frequently changing course.

We didn't have so many fires in the 'old days' in colorado, as there weren't millions of city folks crossing our land (who know little about fire danger). We herded goats / sheep and cattle to manage range land, and we did selective forest clearing to maintain forest health.. Then came the masses and chased us away from Colorado. (Could no longer farm and ranch economically... land prices / taxes / regulations voted by millions of city dwellers who wanted to walk across your ranch and have CAMP fires and leave to NATURE (minus the dead wildlife from generations ago...) Tall / bushy Understory... (one vital ingredient necessary for propagating massive wildland fires).

Tornadoes, oh yes, very possible
(again 7 miles from Ft Collins...) Top weather story of 2008 – The Windsor tornado | ThorntonWeather.com

Windsor Colorado Tornado 22 May, 2008 - YouTube

Here is one I lived through (hit right at La Quinta / west 34 in Loveland). Next trip through Loveland to Estes.. Note the "A-frame" structure at old motel, on south side of 34 directly across from Namaqua Hills... THAT used to be a little TOWER office for the then "Tower Motel".

A brick chimney was all that stood from a migrant home atop the bluff next to La Quinta. The Twister turned the roof and Barn of Ivan Sennett, as his grandkids and wife huddled in the SW corner closet. (That was well known instruction that tornadoes travel to the NE, so if you can get a bearing on their path HEAD SW FAST!!!)
LOVELAND’S 1965 TORNADO | Musings
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:10 AM
 
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It is dry, there are wildfires, and snowfall is random, BUT the media, as with all things has the ability to make the flooding look way worse than it is. Yes it was very destructive and took out many houses, but if you build your house outside of the flood plains you have nothing to worry about. The only people who got hit were ones who owned lots of property inside a flood plain. Information on these flood plains is public record, and these floods come no more than a few times every hundred years, so buy wisely and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:08 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdex View Post
It is dry, there are wildfires, and snowfall is random, BUT the media, as with all things has the ability to make the flooding look way worse than it is. Yes it was very destructive and took out many houses, but if you build your house outside of the flood plains you have nothing to worry about. The only people who got hit were ones who owned lots of property inside a flood plain. Information on these flood plains is public record, and these floods come no more than a few times every hundred years, so buy wisely and you'll be fine.
Please consider there is more to it than 'building on a hill'... You might need a driveway, or depend on utilities, or fire / first aid service... You may be VERY high and have unstable slope / drainage issues...

The county (and your insurance) will keep you from building in the Flood Plain. But there is a bit more to the equation. Property is not worth a whole lot if it is not accessible or utilities get cut off.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 5,989,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdex View Post
It is dry, there are wildfires, and snowfall is random, BUT the media, as with all things has the ability to make the flooding look way worse than it is. Yes it was very destructive and took out many houses, but if you build your house outside of the flood plains you have nothing to worry about. The only people who got hit were ones who owned lots of property inside a flood plain. Information on these flood plains is public record, and these floods come no more than a few times every hundred years, so buy wisely and you'll be fine.
Maybe yes, but maybe no.

While this thread is in the Ft Collins subforum, some information about Boulder County's experience might be useful. As reported in the Boulder Daily Camera:
Quote:
Of the 313 properties destroyed in the county, 260 lay within the 100-year flood zone, while 53 did not.

Every one of the 82 properties in Lyons that were destroyed lay within the 100-year flood zone. In unincorporated Boulder County, however, while 54 of the destroyed properties sat in the 100-year flood zone, 32 did not.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:01 AM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 5,989,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdex View Post
. . .the media, as with all things has the ability to make the flooding look way worse than it is. Yes it was very destructive and took out many houses, but if you build your house outside of the flood plains you have nothing to worry about. The only people who got hit were ones who owned lots of property inside a flood plain. Information on these flood plains is public record, and these floods come no more than a few times every hundred years, so buy wisely and you'll be fine.
Another article in today's Denver Post might suggest otherwise:

State hurries to update maps; many damaged homes not in floodplain

Quote:
More than 17 percent of homes destroyed or damaged in four of the counties hardest-hit by September's flood — Weld, Larimer, Boulder and Logan — were not in the floodplain, according to a Denver Post analysis. . .
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