Creek waters stayed high and emergency personnel utilized helicopters to evacuate mountain communities stranded by washed out roads as Boulder County weathered the second day of flooded conditions on Friday, Sept. 13.
Streets and sidewalks were covered in mud and debris, including rocks and tree limbs, and whole trees braced against bridges across town. High water lines marked where the water had submerged roads. Fences were draped in flood debris sometime several feet high. The city had a swamp-like smell and cars were still splashing their way through intersections that had been closed a matter of hours before.
Boulder County had confirmed the deaths of three people in the flood. One man had died when his house collapsed in Jamestown, while a man and woman had died early in the flooding on Linden Avenue.
Meanwhile, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management said Saturday morning that more than 200 people remain unaccounted for. That designation is not the same as "missing"; a person is listed as "unaccounted for" if the Sheriff's office has not successfully contacted them.
Brief sunshine brought the crowds out to survey the damage, and people lined either side of the bridges on Boulder Creek to look down on the still rushing water, which had completely submerged the bike path and was nearly to the bottom of the Broadway bridge.
Tori D’Amico, who lives near 13th and Alpine streets, was out with her sister Valerie and her father, Bob. She had moved her car out of a basement garage shortly before it flooded three feet deep with water. Valerie’s car, parked on the street, was covered up to the grill.
“It was moving so fast it tipped over a recycling bin the size of my car,” Tori D’Amico says. The landscape company where she works, One Earth, was flooded — the chickens are OK, she says, but the garden is probably done for.
“I’m expecting a lot of phone calls on Monday,” Tori D’Amico says. “A lot of landscapes were wiped out.”
“I’ll still take this over a hurricane,” says Bob D’Amico, a former Florida resident. “Although, it’s the same thing — it’s not the wind that does the damage, it’s the water.”
The debris line shows the Dushanbe Tea House patio flooded, and Boulder Creek was still spilling over onto the Boulder High School ball fields.
“It’s sad,” says Boulder High School graduate Juan Macias. “To see where you used to play… It’s just sad.”
Steve Weishampel contributed to the reporting of this story.