Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our Boulder Flood Story

We are in the epicenter of the Boulder Flood of 2013.  We feel very lucky, indeed, as the storm seems to be subsiding (again) at last. There is no basement under our home, which eliminated the primary source for water damage in our area.  We do, however, have a crawlspace in which our furnace sits, so we were not totally free of risk.  So we were somewhat complacentwhen our first scare came on Thursday afternoon.  I noticed water pooling up next to the foundation aside our electric meter on the north side of the house.  There must have been six inches standing there--maybe more, I am not certain.  My ability to estimate was surely hampered by the crisis milieu in which we found ourselves.

We put on our raingear and dashed out.  First, we attempted some futile shoveling and sweeping to remove the water.  Failing at that, we then pulled paving stones from hardscape around the yard and set them where the water was pooling up.  We don't have gutters on that side of the house, which was probably causing this pond to form in a place that was threatening the house.  After setting up our makeshift stonework, we placed two of our 3.5 foot trash bins under the eaves to catch some of the water.  The bins had to be emptied every 20 minutes, if you can believe that.

Feeling a bit more comfortable about the north side of the house, we went back inside to watch the every-increasing river flowing down both sides of the street and up our driveway on the south side of our house. My husband decided that his car--parked on the street right in front of the house--was diverting the water up toward the house.  He wanted to move the car into the driveway.  He went outside to do that but returned five minutes later, saying he could not walk across the 'river' that was spilling onto our property.  It was about 5-feet wide at the gutter, covered the sidewalk, and was now inching its way up the driveway.   Point of reference:  We are less than a block from  overflowing Bear Creek shown here:
Still concerned that we were making matters worse by having his car parked on the street, he asked me to drive him.  From the driveway to the front of our house.  And that's what I did.  And it was frightening.

My husband moved his car past the river and into the driveway and we sandbagged the driveway (with a few bags of compost that I had, left over from gardening during the spring/summer months).  It seemed to help but we weren't positive.

Point of reference #2:  - neighbor carried two blocks by floodwaters coursing down city street.

We felt safer and went back inside, adding another set of wet clothes to the growing piles.