Floods devastate Colorado

Photos courtesy LGHS alumna and CU Boulder student Summer Sinsigalli

by Montana Fowler

On Wed., Sept. 11 heavy Colorado rains caused a one of the most devastating floods in the area in years. Thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate their homes. As of Tuesday, many Colorado residents are returning to see the damage to their homes.

According to CBS News, approximately 580 people are unaccounted for, 19,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and approximately 400 miles of road has washed away. The rushing water ripped up cement and “[swept cars away] like bath toys” according to the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, recent wildfires have burned many trees and underbrush throughout the Colorado countryside. This has left the hillsides exposed and more vulnerable to landslides a

Not only has the flood damaged homes, roads, railroads, and the landscape, but it also caused two oil spills and hundreds of natural gas and oil wells to shut down. Approximately 13,500 gallons of oil were spilled into the St. Vrain River and 5,250 into the South Platte River.

Boulder resident Joanna Roditis commented, “I was absolutely frightened. At first I was just expecting a few days of Seattle-style mist, but it started pouring instead. Within a few hours of when the rain really started Thursday morning, we had a few inches of water in our basement. By that night, we had one and a half feet of water.”

Summer Sinsigalli, an LGHS alumna and CU Boulder student, told about the conditions of the college due to the flood. Two dorms were flooded and approximately 25% of the college buildings had water damage. “A lot of my friends’ basements flooded and the walkway that I walk through to school every day was about two feet deep of water. Class for us was canceled in Thursday and Friday, and the campus was closed through Sunday…Parts of the town didn’t have access to clean water, so I stocked up, filling pots and pans with water, just in case,” Sinsigalli replied.

Roditis described her experiences after the flood, “I found out, though, that one of my friends had lost her friend in the floods. I am trying to help other people like my friend. I was not as affected as others. I am just trying to help, you know? It is a disaster that brings people together.”

Sources: New York Times, Denver Post, CBS News

Categories: National, Web Exclusive

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