Local Flooding

Many of you will remember the terrible floods in Colorado that occurred mid September. A few days ago I had an opportunity to visit one of the mobile home parks that was close to a river, and like many others, completely destroyed.

flood ruinsInitial estimates said there was at least $230 million in damages to property and infrastructure. This does not begin to measure the emotional cost when families who can least afford it lose their home and all belongings.

flood interiorNote the various water lines in the above photo. My guess is the entire home was submerged and like many others was lifted off its foundation and moved. Can people living in a mobile home park afford flood insurance? Were they required to have it, living so close to a river? Will they ever be whole again, with a home of their own?

flood remnantsEverywhere I looked there were scattered ruins. Toys, clothes, appliances, barbecues, old photo albums, tools, and everything else a family collects and depends on.

muddy interiorThe above photo illustrates what’s left in someone’s bedroom after the water has dried. The water that rushed into these homes was a toxic mix of oil, waste water, and other contaminants. Initial estimates were that 2,900 homes were impacted by this flood in just Weld county. Other adjacent counties were also devastated, and people died.

we will miss..While the human spirit endures, there is a randomness to the universe that is real and perilous. Nature always seems to have its way, and we are often in the way.

© 2013 Michael Fiveson

54 thoughts on “Local Flooding

      • We have people around here that live on the shore and get washed away regularly. Every time there’s a big storm, they’re washed away. That they are dumb enough to keep rebuilding is one issue. But the insurance companies keep paying. That totally baffles me. Garry used to cover these stories and it left him with his jaw open saying “but ….”


      • With the oceans rising it is only a matter of time before entire cities are swamped regularly. This would include New york/Manhattan.


  1. The B&W really captured the sense of loss. I could be wrong, but I don’t think mobile homes qualify for flood insurance considering how many parks are located along a waterway or spillway.


  2. A very moving series of images, so easy to forget the devastation that mother nature can wreak and how long the recovery can take. I hope the people are safe and being well cared for after losing their homes.


  3. my gosh, heartbreaking. Whole communities wiped out. It seems to have affected those least likely able to afford to rebuild.

    There is no such thing as flood insurance here. The gov’t stepped in this summer to aid home owners in Alberta floods but are changing laws for the future. Now, anyone who buys a home in a designated flood zone will be signing some document that relieves the gov’t of any costs occurred in future flooding. It’s buyer beware and sad because (here anyways) the nicest neighbourhoods are near the river


    • Yes, in this case people with lower income took the big hit. There were also many farms and ranches that were wiped out, east of these homes. It is a shame that more help is not available.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, it is much appreciated.


  4. The message in the last photo was heartbreaking. Nice photos of a sad thing. Amazing the force of ‘mother nature’, as they say… nothing you can do about her but clean up. The devastation from the Oso mud slide near me was pretty amazing… and heartbreaking.


    • I have had 3 new roofs in the span of 4 years. The first one lasted 30 days. Every time it rains hard my blood pressure goes up. But Marco Rubio announced he does not believe in climate change and is running for president. Clown. Tell it to the folks now homeless, both here and there.


  5. These pictures are surreal in how beautifully presented they are, but with such tragic reality behind them. I really appreciate the compassion that comes through your words too. Quite a compelling achievement here, Mike.

    I’m glad to have had the chance to come back ducking through the archives.


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