BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a race against the clock for Boulder County as six months after the historic floods there are still dozens of flood damaged sites that need to be fixed before the spring runoff.
Boulder Creek is currently running slightly higher than normal. The concern is, with above-average snowpack, saturated ground and a few warm days ahead, there could be more flooding — and the county is warning residents to be prepared.
Last September the historic flooding pounded the county, swamping cars and neighborhoods, and forcing thousands from their homes.
“Propane tanks go by, large trees go by. It was — that was pretty intense,” Lyons resident Karen Spence said.
On Tuesday night several hundred concerned residents packed Boulder’s First United Methodist Church for a flood-preparedness meeting hosted by Boulder County.
“Even the small amount of snowfall we had last week caused standing water in our yards,” a resident said at the meeting.
It’s a concern for residents like Bob Vermillion, who is still cleaning up from September’s floods.
“If it rained heavily during the runoff it would be a disaster,” Vermillion said.
The county has been working on flood mitigation for the last six months. Officials have asked the public to help identify problem areas.
Flood expert Matt Kelsch with University Corporation for Atmospheric Research says several hot days and rain could be disastrous.
“If we have a spring that is wet, and then the snow melts quickly, there could be pretty significant flows coming through that cause some more damage and bank erosion,” Kelsh said.
As Boulder County residents pray for a slow, gradual warm up, Kelsh says the possibility of flooding is out of the county’s hands.
“Mother Nature will have the final say and we’ll just see how this spring evolves,” he said.
Boulder County hopes to have all flood damaged sites completely repaired by May 1.
The meeting Tuesday was the second of four meetings. Boulder County says its main message is to be prepared and get flood insurance now.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.
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