View Full Version : Colorado Flood Pictures

David Knapp
09-17-2013, 12:53 PM
Here are a few pictures I took when I went over to Boulder last Friday. The incredible thing about these is that the water had already dropped a LOT from the time of peak flooding.

These first two areas are a trailhead near my house. During a live broadcast on local TV the evening before, a Porta John had floated off down river and under the bridge. Not the kind of water you want to swim in! The water was nearly over the top of the road during the crest based on the debris we saw.



It wasn't more than 3 weeks ago that I enjoyed a picnic at tables where the people are standing in this picture. One picnic table can be seen on the right side of the picture while the other one is simply gone. Both were made out of heavy metal construction so it took a lot of water to haul those things off.


Boulder Creek was still high but mostly in its banks when we saw it. Previous it had been MUCH higher based on the debris we saw around. You could still hear large boulders being rolled down the creek.


This tree is sitting high and dry after floating down the canyon during the peak of the storm. This pullout was a spot I often parked to fish Boulder Creek as it exits the canyon and heads into town.


What's left of the road and guardrails along a section of Boulder Creek in the canyon just above town.


A mudslide engulfs the road and particularly the Boulder Creek bike path (on the near side of the road). This was actually one of the smaller slides unfortunately...


A final view of the Boulder Creek Path.


It's going to take a long time to clean up. For anyone who is considering coming out to visit, please think about alternative arrangements if your plans included the northern front range area. Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are both closed. I expect access to the Park to be limited for some time although the western side may be opened sometime soon as it was not hit nearly as hard. There are still great fishing opportunities out here including on places like the South Platte so don't give up on fishing out here, just be flexible on where you expect to fish. The western half of the state is fine as well.

Here's a link to a map (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=preciptotals_multiday) of precipitation estimates for the week of the flooding. One location near Boulder reported a bit over 21 inches of rain over a 7 day period.

09-17-2013, 05:08 PM
Wow! Mother nature sure has a way of showing her power:eek:

My wife has an Aunt who lives on the South Platte near Buffalo Creek. Any chance that's close enough to hook up with you if I get out that way? I've never been out West.

I know in some places like Clear Creek and BSF in TN we commonly see trees 30-40 feet above the water line. I know I wouldn't want to be near the river when it gets like that.

David Knapp
09-17-2013, 10:14 PM
Ducky, I know what you mean about those Plateau Streams. I've seen debris on all those streams so high that it was creepy just to think about. As far as fishing out here, come on out whenever you can! That's close enough to fish although depending on the time of year I'm pretty busy with school. Come out in the summer and bring your backpack and we'll hit some high country cutthroat streams or lakes that are awesome!

09-18-2013, 12:12 AM
David, Thanks for sharing the pics. I did manage to do a little exploring around Boulder this morning, although most places I wanted to get to were closed. It was quite surreal watching the chinook helicopters fly overhead making evac rounds today. The weather was so deceptive today too, absolutely beautiful without a cloud in the sky. However, knowing that only a few miles away from my hotel people are suffering through complete devastation. I had a guy in Boulder today tell me that there are reports of at least 60 bridges that are gone. Not just damaged or flooded, but literally GONE! I just can't comprehend that level of destruction. Considering only 6 were killed, that is a miracle. I am disappointed that it has put a significant hindrance to our fishing excursions this week, but compared to the devastation that numerous families are going through it isn't even in the ballpark. I will be back out here in a few weeks, and maybe then I can fish somewhere in the Front Range.

09-18-2013, 09:44 AM
What do you think the floods will have on the impact of the trout streams out there? I know this question is superficial in the scope of the damage; but, I am curious to the impact of this type of disaster. I could see this happening in an isolated and small area in East TN; such as Coal Creek.

I can remember as a child be let out early in school at Lake City Elementary when Coal Creek flooded and the creek was up to the bottom of the bridges. It was very scary and ominous looking.

David Knapp
09-18-2013, 11:02 AM
Shawn, I think it will have a minimal impact on the trout and if anything it might even have a positive impact on numbers of fish long term. The high water will have moved a lot of gravel around so the brown trout spawn should be very good this year. I'm sure it will have distributed a lot of fish further downstream than normal but otherwise I do not expect a huge impact.