What Denverites Should Know About Floods

April 2011

As more residents are evacuated from their homes outside of Fort Collins, where the Crystal Fire continues to claim substantial acreage, it may seem counterintuitive to worry about flooding (Coloradoan). But snowpack affects the state's water levels unevenly, leaving officials preparing for drought in the south and floods in the north (Denver Post).

Denver, where 2,000 people reside in a floodplain, isn't entirely protected from dangerously and swiftly rising water, as those who recall the May 14, 2007, flooding of the Platte River can attest. "Despite being a landlocked city, Denver's past revolves around water-related disasters," writes 5280 editor Natasha Gardner, who talks with members of the Denver Fire Department's swift-water rescue teams about their intense training and dedication to preparedness, as well as the infrastructure weaknesses that remain.

Steamboat Springs is familiar with the devastation fast-moving water can cause. Some residents of the mountain burg still clearly remember the Butcherknife Creek flood, which damaged Old Town after a 70-degree day in 1984 (Steamboat Today).