Colorado Flooding Update

A caution from meteorologist Tanja Fransen via Facebook:

In regards to all the photos of kids and adults standing in flooded waters in Colorado it makes me mad. It shouldn't be taken lightly, and the diseases, chemicals, etc that floodwaters carry with them can harm you! Our local USGS person even got very sick in our flooding in 2011, and he was not in the water, but taking streamflows from a boat or lines above the rivers.

Agree 100%. That is why I have not been showing photos of that behavior on the blog. "Turn around, don't drown." Don't walk or drive into a flooded area. It is dangerous on several levels.

This video shows the water rushing through downtown Estes Park at 4:30am MDT this morning. Keep in mind that it is likely that few or none of these businesses and homes have flood insurance. This will be a terribly costly disaster.

Based on the river gauge (subject to USGS validation), the Big Thompson River crested just over 1.5' above the 1976 record. The difference today is that there weren't thousands camping on a holiday weekend and there was warning of this flood where there was no NWS warning in advance of Big Thompson. The only warning of that flood -- where 140 people lost their lives -- was John Henz's valiant warning messages to the campers via a Ft. Collins radio station.

Some light rain continues to fall intermittently but none of it is heavy enough to worsen this terrible situation. Radar at 9:45am MDT.

The forecast is for light to moderate rain over the region for the next 36 hours.

Addition: Here is video of the Big Thompson River flooding:


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