Boulder, Colo. flooding cuts off mountain communities

Updates on the flooding in the outdoor mecca of Boulder, Colo.

The outdoor mecca of Boulder, Colo. experienced its worst flooding in a century after three straight days of rain overflowed creeks and triggered mudslides in the surrounding foothills where fires had burned several years ago.

Two people were reported dead in Boulder County due to the flooding.

Many local businesses, schools and government office buildings were closed Thursday, including local outdoor shop Neptune Mountaineering, and the Boulder REI, as authorities advised people to stay off the streets. (The storm also stranded two visiting Nemo Equipment employees on nearby Longs Peak. Click here to read more.)

Most of the flooding in the city has been along creeks, swallowing bike paths, low-lying areas and basements. More severe damage was reported in the surrounding mountain towns, including Jamestown, where mudslides and floodwaters wiped out roads — cutting off access — and reportedly took out several homes. Three years ago, the Four Mile Canyon Fire ravaged the nearby area, contributing to the current mudslides.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, meteorologists reported more a foot of rain had fallen in the area since Monday with more than 9 inches coming down in 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday evenings. That’s a lot for this normally arid community, especially this time of year. The previous record-high precipitation for the entire month September was 5.5 inches. Records back to 1893 show the monthly total eclipsing 9 inches only twice — in April 1900 and May 1995. The rain is expected to continue before tapering off Friday evening.

The SNEWS, Backpacker, Climbing, Ski and Skiing offices in Boulder remain above water despite some nearby flooding of Boulder Creek, pictured below.


Check back for more updates on the local outdoor community as we receive them. And if you’re in Boulder, post your pictures, videos and updates to our Facebook page.

–David Clucas