This was a different week for us at On Pasture. Here are some pictures of how I spent part of my week. I’d like to be able to show you more, but getting in and out of my neighborhood is hard right now. If I leave and it’s raining, there’s the possibility that I won’t be allowed back home. And to get home, I have to have my picture ID. There’s a checkpoint manned by the Sheriff’s Department and the National Guard to make sure I live here before they let me back in!
See the little tan shed? That’s my neighbor’s chicken coop. I decided to rescue them, so I made 2 trips through mid-thigh water to carry them out in my cat carrier. I guess I had a bit of adrenaline going because it didn’t seem hard at the time. But I strained my back and spent Sunday flat on the floor in pain.
Look, closely and you can see the old coop on it’s side in the water now.
Our neighborhood was under mandatory evacuation because we were so close to the Big Thompson River. But our house survived the record 1977 flood because it’s on a little hill, so we knew we could weather this flood too.
Our little 4 foot wide Buckhorn Creek grew to 400 ft and washed axles into the street! It woke us at 1:30 a.m. with a terrifying roar!
It’s hard to take a picture that does the event justice. At one point the river was probably 100 times its normal size. We don’t know quite how big this flood was. The big 1977 flood crested at 9.8 feet above normal. But this time the river gauge washed out at 10 pm and the river didn’t crest until 4 am the next morning. Downstream gauges say it was about 18 feet above normal.
This is an area that doesn’t get much moisture. In a typical year we might have 15 inches of precipitation. This year, Boulder, my home town had 18 inches in the last three days. Here in Loveland, we had about 7 or 8 inches. And for the first time in my life in the arid west I can truly say I’ve had enough of rain!
We were lucky at my house. Others found themselves in the middle of the river’s path. But everyone is chipping in and helping move mud and clean out houses together. We’ve made lots of new friends, and gained a much greater appreciation for our emergency responders and the way the City and County of Loveland planned ahead so that they could help us all out. Thanks to all of you as well for you good thoughts while Colorado struggles through this.