BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The weekend doesn’t mean work is over for some homeowners in Boulder County. They will be hard at work shoveling mud off their property.
Heavy rains on Wednesday swept mud down roads and into properties in the Fourmile Fire burn area. The lack of vegetation in the burn area has had residents worried all year about what a particularly severe thunderstorm could do.
On Wednesday they found out. Mud filled some homes in just a matter of minutes. Cars were also buried in mud, pavement on streets was ripped up and trees and rocks were dislodged. Luckily no one was hurt.
Homeowners say not only did the fire leave the soil exposed, it also changed the watershed, putting homes that were once considered safe, in a flood path.
“I never really believed it was going to happen,” Larry Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen’s home was one of the 169 that were destroyed in the September fire and he just rebuilt it. He had only moved in five days before the mudslides struck.
“I can’t believe that it’s another disaster — another catastrophe — after having already gone through one. How many do you have to go through?” he said.
Rassmussen’s home backs up to a hill, so when he was rebuilding he made sure the back wall was concrete from floor to ceiling. That may have helped him avoid getting mud inside his house.
Others weren’t so lucky. More than a foot of mud filled Ann Brady’s home in only 20 minutes.
“The force of water forced (a foot) of mud and filled this complete room with that,” Brady said, showing CBS4 her living room.
Larry Gates said he was prepared for flooding. He and his family spent the night in a tent across the street from their home and on higher ground.
“We were probably in the tent and with everything in about 5 minutes and we turned around and the junction (in front of our house) was flooded,” he said.
A sandbag wall spared the cabins of David Reed and a neighbor as a river of mud poured down Fourmile Canyon Road. On Friday Fourmile firefighters were helping Reed rebuild the sandbag wall.
“(We’re) planning that this wall will shed the water and keep the berm and keep both cabins nice and dry,” Reed said.
Rob Leary was one of several people who were trying to get abandoned cars that got stuck in mud towed out on Friday.
“I broke two chains, pulled the recovery latch off the back there, and I’ve been here for about an hour,” Leary told CBS4.
Watch CBS4 reporter Valerie Castro’s report on Thursday night in the video clip below:
See Shaun Boyd’s report from Friday night below:
Several roads in Fourmile Canyon were closed after the storm. By Friday night they had all reopened, although some are heavily damaged.