Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Colorado Floods--Estes Park

I took some time off from by blog later in the summer to just enjoy the end of summer before my youngest went off to school full-time. Here they are on their first day of school--third grade and first grade.



Besides school starting, the most recent event in our life was the Colorado flooding. We have a cabin in Estes Park, which is a touristy town located next to the Big Thompson river. As we had days of pouring rain, it quickly became clear that we were going to experience flooding in that area. Our cabin rents out regularly from end of April until late November via VRBO.com (http://www.vrbo.com/160115). On the day the river crested, we had guests trapped in Estes Park. We couldn't get in touch with them but were praying for the best for them.

Flooding began on early Thursday at 1:30 am. We received confirmation via email from our guests on Friday evening that they and our cabin were safe. It was a horrifying experience for them but they were ok. There was no phone, no cell phone, no Internet, and all roads in and out were literally washed away. The one road open is called Trail Ridge road, which is the highest road elevation-wise (12,000 feet) in the U.S. The road scares me to death to drive on. I couldn't fathom that is the only road in or out. With winter coming, that road is known to close in October.

This image shows the road that our family takes to get to our cabin. It is completely destroyed. It winds through a canyon right next to the river. At of today there is no known date when this road will even open.

Once our guests got out and were able to safely establish an Internet connection in Denver, they sent us these pictures of the river as the flood was happening. This image is of our picnic area. Just a week prior, we were enjoying family time at the picnic area. My kids were gathering ladybugs there next to the peaceful river. What a difference a week makes!

The next image is the one that really breaks my heart. The water spared our property but it overtook our neighbors across the river. I pray all people and animals were ok.

Here is an image from our deck to give perspective of how lucky we are to be on such high ground.

Mother Nature is amazing. Our insurance adjustor who had come to our house for a hail storm we had in August (seriously!) had been to Joplin, Missouri after their tornado. He told me that Mother Nature is the worst serial killer. No doubt. Here is a picture of our favorite slide in happier times and the area now.

As this flooding was taking place, our own home became part of the drama when we woke up on Saturday to this scene. Brian literally fished from our backyard that day.

News continues to trickle in as the damage is being assessed. The federal government is quickly stepping in to grant $30 million to start repairing roads. To date, 8 lives have been lost with so many more still missing. We continue to pray for families who lost their homes and loved ones. Words can't express the devastation being felt all around Estes Park, Boulder, Evans, Lyons, Jamestown, Firestone, and Greeley. Please keep our state in your prayers.

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