Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday, 09/12/13 Flood Photos

After being glued to the news and internet updates, I headed into Boulder this afternoon to survey the damage from the near years worth of rain (8 inches last night alone) that has fallen since Monday.  Roads were wet, but no pooling water and since I had my bike with me, I parked in a non flood prone spot near 30th and Baseline.  Pedaled up Baseline to the Gregory lot, or what used to be the Gregory lot.  Gate was closed and it was obvious that everything above was pretty trashed.

The creek that is normally dry, or a babble in the Spring was a raging torrent and it was clear from all the washed out bushes and debris, that it was recently much, much higher.

I stashed my bike and headed up the trail through NW Chatauqua to survey the damage.  The short wooden bridge that used to span the small creek was washed away and the creek was wide and impassable.  I headed up Amphitheater Trail, which was also a flowing stream and debated heading all the way up Green, but soon turned around in favor of biking around town and checking out Boulder Creek and whatever other interesting areas I came across.

Around 4pm, the steady rain turned into a raging downpour and I decided to get the heck out of there.  The ride back to the car was somewhat complicated, as the streets and sidewalks were flooding badly and my contacts were swimming in my eyes.

Got in the car and retraced my tracks home, Baseline, Cherryvale, SoBo Road.  A lot of standing water that I could crawl through in our little Corolla, but not too bad, that is until I got to S. Boulder Road, where between Cherryvale Road and 75th, the water was flowing across the road quite deep in 3 long sections.  Seeing a similarly small car make it though, I gave it a shot, crawling in 1st gear and hoping for the best.  I made it through, over the hill and the rain stopped and roads were fine.  Was pretty relieved to make it home.  As far as I can tell from the forecast, it appears that heavy rain is in the forecast for a few days still.

I used to park here at the base of Flag all the time, but the drop off the pavement was getting to be too much.  Now it is way worse.

Looking up the driveway to the Gregory lot


I think we can forget about fire danger for a bit.

This was all bushes not long ago.

Near the start of Amphi

There used to be a bridge here, Gregory lot on the far side.


The water was about 5 or 6 feet deep here on top of what is already a raging torrent just to the right (valley parallel to the Gregory lot driveway)

Those are big logs

Near 6th and Aurora

Further down the hill

Boulder creek is raging, but still not as bad as I imagined.  Could get worse though.

From here, you could hear boulders smashing together under the water.  It was quite violent.

Less than a week ago, I was wading here with my almost 3 year old daughters.

This is the steep part of the path just above Eben G. Fine park.  The guy with the bike was ahead of me and did not slow down and needless to say, he ate $hit pretty bad.  I walked these sections.

Another spot where the girls and I were swimming less than a week ago.

The water in this tennis court was up to the top of the net.

Frothy flotsam and jetsam

Sanitas TH at the brick shelter.

Back to Boulder Creek

There were lot's of college kids out doing what I would be doing if I were 20.

Library courtyard

Near the library.  Not too smart getting near this.  Right about this time, I saw a 2 foot diameter, 25 foot log cruising through here faster than I could pedal my bike.

This is normally shin deep.

The bike path goes under here with plenty of clearance.  Not now.  Not sure what these guys with the tubes were trying to do, other than seek attention and run their drunken mouths.  If you hear of dead tubers, I would bet money it is this group.

Creek path behind the Boulder High School fields.


  1. Thanks for the photos, Jeff. Being in Utah now, I feel so distant (yet so attached) to what is going on back home. Gosh, I hope you are all safe and everyone in Boulder remains safe.

  2. Thanks for the intel, JV. Remarkable weather event.

  3. Good lord! I hope this rain stops and it all clears up soon.


  4. Great Narrative on the flood of 2013, you will have to survey today if you can... MV

  5. Thanks a bunch for the photos and comments. I put up a video of Rock Creek and Coal Creek in Superior here:

  6. That is some serious damage. Gregory bridge gone? Holy cow. Seems like pretty much any creek from Morrison north to the Wyoming border is flooding.

    I was running way west of Morrison on Bear Creek this evening and it was ridiculously normal. The reason I'm sure is Bear Creek Lake, which gathers all the water coming out of the mountains, and it has a 150-foot dam. In the case of Boulder, Barker Reservoir is just too high up the canyon to prevent flooding.