A year after ‘biblical’ flooding, Colo. still recovering

16 thoughts on “A year after ‘biblical’ flooding, Colo. still recovering”

  1. You were my best source for info about the area as it was available. To include the poor horse tied to the flooding stretch of fenceline, later rescued. I remember you were also worried about a family member in the Boulder area. You were often more informed and with more accurate photos than national media. Driving up 34 and down 36 was sobering for the extent of damage beyond what the 1976 flood caused, but inspiring for the fantastic work CDOT did putting both hwys back in service. You need to go see the Alluvial Fan area sometime, to witness those changes, too. Thank you for being a thorough source to so many searching for news!!

    1. I haven’t been on either 34 or 36 since the floods. You’ve seen firsthand what CDOT accomplished; I’ve only read about it. I haven’t been through the Big Thompson Canyon since the ’76 flood. I’ve never liked canyons like that, and my close call with that flood convinced me to just avoid that canyon. Too bad the canyon is so narrow there’s no way to reroute the highway; I’ll bet CDOT is getting tired of rebuilding it.

      My brother lives in Boulder, although up in the mountains. I was worried about him because his was with his girlfriend down in town. Nice of you to remember that.

      I expect to get up to Estes in the next few weeks, and always circle through Horseshoe Park to see the wildlife. Frankly, I hope the Alluvial Fan washed away. I’ve always thought it an abomination, an ugly mess that would never have occurred if man hadn’t dammed Lawn Lake in the first place, or if the dam had been properly maintained. A manmade mess in an area of great natural beauty. And all they did was hang a sign on it as though it were a natural feature of the park. In my book, alluvial fans are made by nature.

      Sorry. End of rant.

      1. Not a rant at all, but very true. It is a bigger scar now. But with all that damage from the failure of an earthen dam, not even the storms in 76 did anything to the .Roaring River there. Yet last fall, those days of rain caused enough water to flow in that destroyed area to move the river again, to wash out the road, and nearly bury the bridge. You posted photos of the damage to the Old Road, but hard to grasp a storm..could toss those house-sized boulders around so easily. I agree, tho, wishing the river and meadow was unharmed… the stand of aspens along the trail in that section was so beautiful. Not to mention wonderfully shady coming back down that long, hot, dusty trail! I have promised myself to stay out of BT Canyon if even mist is in the air….

      2. Totally washed away from the west side of the bridge and buried most of the west parking area. Folks can still park at the Lawn Lake trailhead. The closure is to rebuild the fan area & get started on old rd repairs. Think i missed a story… were you up there during the 76 BTC flood? I should check your archives, but laziness says just ask 🙂

  2. Amazing photos. It’s fascinating how much blogging opens up to us that we’d never normally hear about through mainstream media. Prior to reading your blog I was reading one about the slow creep of volcanic lava in Hawaii.

    1. Lots of potential natural disasters in the world. I’m glad to at least not have to worry about lava creeping into my neighborhood. Of course, if the Yellowstone caldera ever blows, things will get a bit messy.

    1. It’s remarkable how fast the main roads were fixed. And incredibly sad to see all the reports on local news this week about people still struggling to rebuild homes and private roads. The highways were rebuilt of necessity. Private roads and drives were not.

  3. 36 was rebuilt by the FHWA (Federal Contracting). American Civil Constructors, ACC, got the contracts for 36 and 43 through Federal, not state. These were not CDOT projects.

... and that's my two cents