Northern Colorado received record breaking rains followed by a massive flood in September of 2013. Nearly 10 inches of rain fell on September 12 and by the 15th, over 16 inches of rain had fallen in the foothills near Boulder, Colorado. Boulder County only gets about 20 inches of rain a year so this was a massive drenching. The flood waters reached about 200 square miles and by the 15th, 17 counties received federal emergency declarations.
It was a very scary time for me and my family. I live in Boulder County which was the worst hit county in the disaster and my in-laws live in Larimer County which was also terribly hit. The town I was living in, Longmont, was cut in half by the flood. To the North of the St. Vrain where we lived, and to the south of the St. Vrain river. No one from the South could come to the North and vice versa. I tried to get out and work in Northglenn that day, but I-25 was closed on and off throughout the crisis from Thornton to the Wyoming border. Highway 119 was also closed for weeks after the flood hit Longmont.
We were lucky in that our home did not have any damage. Several homes for miles around the St. Vrain sustained terrible flood damage. Flood insurance is not required in most homes in Boulder County and can be very expensive if purchased separately. Most homeowners did not have flood insurance and lost their homes in the tragedy. Owners can buy flood insurance separately by going to http://www.bouldercounty.org/property/flood/pages/nfipcrs.aspx and purchasing federally backed insurance. Some homeowners who had insurance found out it only covered the clean up and not the replacement of items.
People relied on FEMA, Red Cross, Save the Children, United Way, Air Land Emergency Resource Team, and Boulder Flood Relief to get back to some level of habitability in their home. I remember people purchasing furniture with vouchers from the Red Cross and FEMA. These organizations really helped people in need during the flood.
For more information about the flood please contact Jack Zagunis at (303) 263-7142 or go to jackzagunis.com. Jack is a Colorado real estate blogger and member of Cobalt Realty, Ltd.
What is the current flood plain in Boulder County?
Click below for maps of the flood pain in Boulder county.
Can we get a mold test? How much is it?
If the home was flooded then you need to do a mold test. Mold can continue to grow for years after moisture gets into the home. This can make you very ill and even cause death. A mold test cost nearly $500 and it is worth it. If your home does have mold it can cost 10,000-30,000 dollars in repairs and replacement. Here is a PDF link about mold damage and its possible extents in the home.