Looking back on #Colorado’s 2013 flood, one of the state’s most damaging natural disasters — The #FortCollins Coloradoan #SouthPlatteRiver

Upper Colorado River Basin September 2013 precipitation as percent of normal. Graphic credit: Wendy Ryan

Click the link to read the article on the Fort Collins Coloradoan website. Here’s an excerpt:

The historic 2013 flood in Colorado occurred over a week, Sept. 9-15, 2013, but the bulk of the more than 18 inches of rain in some locations occurred during a 30-hour period Sept. 11-12. An extremely moist, subtropical airmass ignited by a cold front parked over Colorado through much of the week, resulting in rainfall approaching totals that statistically would happen once every 500 to 1,000 years. Here’s a snapshot of one of Colorado’s most devastating natural disasters, including a lasting look at its impacts on Larimer County:

  • Nine fatalities, including two in Larimer County.
  • Around $4 billion in estimated damage (in 2023 dollars). Only the 1965 flood had higher damage estimates than the 2013 flood at around $5 billion (in 2023 dollars).
  • 1,750 people rescued.
  • 19,000 people evacuated.
  • 2,006 homes destroyed.
  • 26,000 homes damaged.
  • 200 business destroyed.
  • 750 businesses damaged.
  • 200 miles of road damaged.
  • 50 major bridges damaged.
  • 15 counties included in a FEMA disaster declaration, from Larimer in the north to El Paso (Colorado Springs) in the south.

Rainfall records shattered during the 2013 flood

  • The heaviest rainfall totals of 12 to 18 inches were widespread through much of central Boulder County, stretching from Boulder north and west toward Jamestown, Lyons and into central Larimer County, including the Estes Park area.
  • The 24-hour state precipitation record was broken at the Fort Carson military base near Colorado Springs, with 11.85 inches of rain falling on Sept. 12.
  • Boulder set a calendar day all-time rainfall record of 9.08 inches and monthly record of 18.16 inches.
Air search for flood victims September 2013 via Pediment Publishing

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