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Re: Flood? (First hand report)

Off topic, but I thought readers may be interested. It does deal with
water after all <g>.
From "David W. Webb" <dwebb at ti_com>: 
> Reading about the flood that hit Ft. Collins on Reuters.  Is everything
> okay where you are?

Yeah, no problems.  The "devastation" was slightly over-reported.  All
the death and destruction occurred in a scruffy old trailer park
located in the flood plain of a creek.  Everything else was normal
"too much rain" which happens 2 or 3 times a year.

The trailer park has (had) a railroad track behind it that was built
up on a 30 foot high embankment (to get over the flood plain).  A
large culvert goes through the embankment to let the normally 3 foot
wide creek through. Heavy localized rain (8" in a few hours from a
stationary cell) was dumping into the creek.  The culvert could not
handle the dramatic flow and water began building up behind the
embankment. After a while, the water crested the embankment, just as a
train was passing through.  The train was washed from the tracks and,
either as a consequence of the train derailment or just
coincidentally, the culvert collapsed, releasing a 20 foot wall of
water into the trailer park. All the dramatic news footage you may
have seen was from that one square block ex-trailer park.

Homes and businesses downstream were somewhat damaged or at least
water logged.  Four buildings of the biotech firm where Karla works
straddle a diversion channel (the business park was also built in the
flood plain).  The slug of water from the collapse didn't turn left
when the creek did and passed through the business park. The park was
under 2 feet of water for an hour or two. Three of the four buildings
had about 1/2" of water and mud from seepage through the doors.  The
fourth building had a large freight door that buckled and allowed the
water into the building. Water was 18" deep in the building,
destroying floor standing PCs and soaking file cabinets.  Chairs,
furniture and supplies had floated around and the place was a mess.
Karla is the facilties director and she was up from 1:30 AM to 6 PM
the next day directing the cleanup. I lent moral support and gawked.
Colorado State University also collected much water from the rain.
The lower floor of the student center was flooded (destroying the book
store that was fully stocked for the fall semester) and the lower
floor of the library was heavily water logged. Many other buildings on
campus were flooded. A Christian summer camp was being held on campus
and 3500 young Christians witnessed a flood of biblical proportions.
I hope the conselors had a quick explanantion at the ready for the
obvious "Why did God do this?" questions.

Interestingly enough, the creek channel by the trailer park was recently
renovated.  The last flood there was in 1977 and the channel area was
reconstructed to withstand a "100 year flood", easing the fears of the
trailer park residents.

This flood was declared a "1000 year flood" by the Governer of Colorado, 
no doubt easing the fears of the responsible contruction company. 

George, reporting from Ft. Collins