CDOT is planning for runoff flooding #COflood

Flood damage Big Thompson Canyon September 2013 -- photo via Northern Water
Flood damage Big Thompson Canyon September 2013 — photo via Northern Water

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

Spring flooding could destroy some CDOT repairs to major highways destroyed in September, said Sheaffer, who said he has obsessively monitored the state’s above-average snowpack.

“We have a 25- to 50-year (flood) event coming to us if it’s just a normal spring runoff,” said Sheaffer, who has become CDOT’s chief of operations for flood recovery efforts since September.

Although CDOT is still working to repair $535 million in damage done to Front Range roads, road repair is only a sliver of the long-term recovery concerns that flood and stormwater experts discussed on Thursday. Hosted by the Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers and Colorado State University, the 2013 Colorado Flood Forum covered subjects ranging from climate and weather to water quality issues.

The conference also served a statewide debrief on the September floods that killed eight people and destroyed more than 1,500 Front Range homes.

Panelists recalled horror stories of endless work days and sleepless nights. Mike Chard with the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management recalled moments when he was convinced that hundreds of people had died in a crush of floodwater. He compared dealing with the endless rain and ongoing flood as “getting punched in the face every five minutes with a new problem.”

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