Returning Home to Flood-Ravaged but Hero-Rich Boulder
As I mentioned last week, we were traveling abroad when record rainfall ravaged Deke's hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Boulder, which normally gets around 1.7 inches of rain in September, got over 17 inches in one day. Boulder Creek had a 100x increase in its water flow. And whilst Deke and I studied the 100-year and 500-year flood maps of Boulder from across the Atlantic, we came home to the aftermath of what some are now calling a 1000-year rainfall event. Do they sell insurance for that?
The pictures and stories were harrowing, and we weren't sure exactly what to expect, knowing that there had been basement flooding in both of Deke's homes.
The floodwaters that turned the streets into veritable rivers had receded, but piles of ripped up carpets and temporary large-scale trash containers all around the city served as a reminder of what we missed. Thanks to some quick, tireless work by neighbors, family, and friends who responded to our frantic texts and calls from Spain, the water had already been pumped out of the basement at Deke's condo and a preliminary rescue mission had started on the contents. Left behind were some interesting smells and and some notable casualties:
Although there is some poignancy to this waterlogged collection of Deke's life's work, and the structural damage to his property is not insignificant, there were others in the area who lost their homes, their cars, and even their lives. Our friends and family members in Boulder definitely fell into the "it coulda been worse" category.
The creek in back of Deke's family home didn't breach. The charming server in our favorite restaurant was rescued by a policeman from what she called "class 5 rapids" down a main thouroughfare. Deke's producer, Max and family were unscathed (albeit unsettled) by the waters rising in their backyard, and we got to find out, in that way you do when faced with disaster, just how hard-working, generous, and tireless a community can be and what's truly important in the end.