Flood or Drought: Which One Should You Worry About?

May 19 2011, 4:21 AM

You haven't been transported to Seattle, but the rain isn't going anywhere, either. The wet weather and gloomy skies are anticipated to continue through the weekend—and that's got a lot of people across the Front Range worried (Denver Post). Once temperatures shoot up and begin melting the record amounts of mountain snow, officials expect to see widespread flooding (Aspen Times and 7News).

In northern Colorado, Larimer County may provide residents who live along the Poudre and Big Thompson rivers with sand at the first signs of flooding, although anyone who's moved to the area since 1983 (the last major floods) may be less aware of potential dangers (Fort Collins Coloradoan). Boulder city officials are also on alert after September's Fourmile Canyon Fire put the area at risk of flooding and mudslides. Certain city buildings have been designated as safety zones in the event of a flash flood (Daily Camera). Denver, for its part, sees more urban water rescues than the typical city dweller might think, especially when water swells in the Platte and Cherry Creek rivers (5280).

Not all parts of the state are concerned with flooding, however: A Colorado Department of Natural Resources report released in May shows parts of the state to be bone dry (Colorado Springs Independent). In fact, drought persists in 60 percent of the state, hitting agricultural lands the hardest and sounding alarms for Governor John Hickenlooper (Pueblo Chieftain).