16th 2013
After the flood

Posted under: American history, class, happy endings, local news



Thanks to everyone who has written, called, or texted me to ask if we’re doing OK here at the ranch. It sure was rainy last week–I can’t remember a time since I moved to Colorado that it rained for six days straight, but that’s what happened starting last Tuesday. People have made comparisons to the epic flood of the Big Thompson River in 1976. Fortunately, this flood has been much less deadly.

There have been some pretty scary pictures of what’s happening in some parts of the Front Range, but so far as I can tell, if you don’t live in the wildlife-urban interface and/or a canyon, and you don’t live in a mobile home, you’re probably OK. Sadly, the people with the fewest resources were disproportionately affected here on the plains.

The one exception to my rule about living in cities/not in mobile home parks to stay safe appears to be Longmont, Colorado, which is right on the St. Vrain River and which is apparently still really bad. The western side of Loveland, Colorado all the way up to Estes Park–through the Big Thompson canyon–has made for some dramatic news footage, I am sure. Fort Collins, where Baa Ram U. is located, seems to be getting back to normal after the Cache la Poudre River left its banks Friday–some of the lowlands near I-25 look a little floody, but not too bad. Most of the scary photos and videos you’ve seen recently that might have been labeled Greeley are probably Evans, Colorado, which is right on the South Platte River. We live right between the “two rivers” in Greeley, so we are high, dry, and lucky.

I always liked this song. I don’t think Lone Justice ever got enough credit for helping to start the alt-country movement way back in the 1980s.


16 Responses to “After the flood”

  1. Tenured Radical on 16 Sep 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    The news footage we have seen here has been incredibly sad. Flooding, if you aren’t used to it, is scary as hell. Water comes up really, really fast. I also wondered if there were dry creek beds getting active — we used to call those “gully washers” in Idaho, when you got so much rain on dry soil it would pour out of the mountains and the old creek beds would take it in unexpected directions. And hten God forbid someone had built a driveway over one without a duct underneath.

    Anyway, glad la famille Historiann is ok. Meanwhile, Washington DC got shot up today. It never. F^cking. Ends.

  2. Bardiac on 16 Sep 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    I’m glad to hear you’re okay.

    Floods and tsunamis are so powerful, and thus scary as all get out.

    The pictures I’ve seen look horrible; I hope that things get better.

  3. undine on 16 Sep 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Scary stuff, but I am glad that you are all right.

  4. Indyanna on 16 Sep 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Thanks for the close-in reporting, H. We were definitely watching it with a lot of concern–and indeed, still are, for everybody else. Hopefully it’s over.

  5. koshembos on 16 Sep 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Great to hear. We are sentenced to daily worry. Colorado deluge without Noah, the Navy yard next door with a automatic weapon and a dozen death, Obama eager to bomb yet another country. Happy to hear that you are OK.

  6. Susan on 16 Sep 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    The older I get the more I appreciate the fear of nature that was part of the early modern psyche. Floods are scary, as are tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes. Forest fires too, but many of them (like my local Rim fire this year) are caused by humans. And while we now have some notice on hurricanes, that’s very recent. (During the Hurricane of 1938, my grandmother took my mother and aunt down to the shore on Long Island to “watch the storm”: not till the next day did they realize it wasn’t any old storm.) And until maybe 10-15 years ago, there was no real advance warning of tornadoes. Somehow our culture got the idea that we were in control, but nature recently has done its best to remind us that we are not.

  7. Katherine on 17 Sep 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Glad you are okay! But keep your Wellies handy.

  8. Tony Grafton on 17 Sep 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Glad to know you’re OK.

  9. Knitting Clio on 17 Sep 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Thanks for the update — glad you’re okay.

  10. Northern Barbarian on 17 Sep 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Happy to hear that you and yours are OK! We had some flooding in upstate New York this summer that was scary enough, but nothing like what Colorado’s been going through. Indeed, we do not control nature.

  11. Western Dave on 18 Sep 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    I’ve been getting pictures from New Mexico/Arizona/Navajo Rez on FB but I haven’t seen anything from news outlets here in the East. Has there been any reporting out West? So far, a friend lost a truck but no other word from there.

    Stay safe.

  12. Historiann on 19 Sep 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Dave, I haven’t seen anything about anything outside Colorado. As you can imagine, the Denver news media have been very focused on stuff in-state, and in particular, on the Front Range. They have been following the flooding rivers as they’ve crested throughout N. Colo. and SW Nebraska, but those are footnotes to the big story in Denver metro.

  13. Western Dave on 19 Sep 2013 at 9:48 am #

    It’s been largely ignored by Phoenix and Albuquerque news outlets, and the rez outlets are so locally focused that I can’t figure out what’s going on except that it’s bad. In other words, stories of shelters opening and help needed but not writing for an outside audience that wants to help but can’t drive over and pull a cooking shift.

  14. Linden on 19 Sep 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I’m not sure how to send this, so I’ll leave it here.

  15. Contingent Cassandra on 19 Sep 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Glad you and yours have not been washed away. It sounds scary (there may be some advantages to not owning a TV, and not being visually-oriented enough to seek out pictures to go with the stories on NPR).

  16. An update on the “death of an adjunct” story at Duquesne, and a jeremiad against self-sacrifice. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 20 Nov 2013 at 9:04 am #

    […] an adjunct faculty member who lives in Estes Park was teaching at a front range university when the flood ripped through our state.  The only reasonable, direct route to his job was via a road that was entirely washed out (and […]

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