Morning coffee: Tuesday


via

The newest worry… floodsnakes! The latest on Colorado’s devastating flooding: 8 are confirmed dead and 1600 homes have been destroyed in a flood zone nearly the size of Delaware. More than 600 people are still unaccounted for, though they’re believed to be stranded in remote areas without phone service. Authorities are now warning residents to watch for rattlesnakes escaping to higher ground. — Gawker

Also, blue sky this morning!

COFLOOD / Colorado Floods: How you can help

To help, click one or all of these links:

Websites keep listing Colorado Office of Emergency Management’s helpcoloradonow.org BUT I’ve found this site isn’t currently working and hasn’t worked all weekend. I don’t know what’s happened with it or if it will be fixedUPDATE: the website must have the “www” in the address — so click www.helpcoloradonow.org for information (thanks to @SouthernRedRose!)

If you have any concerns about the group you might be donating to visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website: http://www.sos.state.co.us/ccsa/CcsaInquiryMain.do

211 has prepared a Relief and Recovery Guide to connect Colorado residents affected by the Larimer County Floods with disaster assistance and information: http://uwaylc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Larimer-Flood-2013-RR-Guide-Sept12-720pm.pdf 

To apply for assistance through FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/apply-assistance — the agency is now able to provide grants to assist with recovery.

Be sure to go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ for all available assistance from the federal government, including transitional housing, rental properties available, applicaitons for assistance, etc.

via NBC News, Denver Post, 7News, 9 News, CBS Denver

Morning coffee: Monday

It’s more of a Monday for some than for others…

Morning commute for some areas of Colorado – via Jeremy Hubbard / KDVR:

“Leave now or be prepared to stay for weeks.” That’s what rescuers were telling people in mountain communities yesterday who were thinking about staying in their homes — that they’d endure weeks without electricity, running water and basic supplies. Authorities made clear that residents who chose not to leave might not get another chance for a while. — Washington Post


Between Loveland and Estes Park: large chunks missing from Hwy. 34 along Big Thompson River — KDVR

‘Biblical’ Amounts Of Rainfall Slam Colorado, Causing Death, Destruction, And Massive Flooding | Think Progress: Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, after facing 20-foot walls of water racing down canyons already stripped bare by wildfires and drought, said, “This is not an ordinary day. It is not an ordinary disaster.” A dozen dams overflowed and six actually blew out, while officials were keeping their eyes on several high-hazard dams whose failure would seriously endanger lives… On Wednesday and Thursday in just one 15-hour period, 183 millimeters fell on Boulder, which is 7.21 inches — literally off the chart. The previous wettest September day was in 1909, with just over 3 inches. What’s happening in Colorado is that unprecedented. Rain totals in other areas could be even higher — Northwest Boulder reported 8.62 inches since the storm began on Wednesday. Aurora, a suburb of Denver, reporter 11.5 inches of rain from the storm. Denver’s average annual precipitation is 14.92 inches.


Click image for interactive map. (We’re located at the yellow mark, within the flood zone east of I-25.)

The numbers so far: The Colorado Office of Emergency Management estimated Sunday on its website that:

  • 17,494 homes have been damaged
  • 1,502 destroyed
  • 11,700 people have been evacuated
  • 1,253 people are unaccounted for
  • The flooding is spread across parts of 15 counties.

More (LA Times): 

  • 5 (probably 6) dead so far
  • 30 bridges destroyed with another 20 seriously damaged — will continue to rise
  • 2,380 square miles affected
  • 600 Colorado National Guard and active-duty U.S. Army personnel were assisting local emergency officials with relief efforts
  • Federal rescuers had saved 2,100 stranded residents along with 500 pets

CBS Denver: Firestone police chief at Weld CR13 north of town. Bridge intact on other side, river diverted around it.
View image on Twitter

ALSO: Smashburger is awesome (and not just because their burgers are the best): @Smashburger to serve free burgers to first responders at all CO locations. Mobile truck also at Niwot High – via Mitchell Byars

More showers forecast for Colorado’s Front Range on Monday

Morning coffee: pouring rain

This morning it is pouring… for about an hour, the rain was literally being driven against the windows by wind gusts. Just. Stop.

For Sundog: Residents of Jamestown, CO & their dogs are airlifted amid #coflood. via @denverpost http://bit.ly/1aLgkNn 

@9NEWS “I think what we have here in the last 24 hours is the greatest number of Americans rescued by helicopter since Hurricane Katrina” – @CONG1860


Published on Sep 14, 2013: CH-47 Chinook Helicopter from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment out of Fort Carson, Colorado conducting evacuations of Jamestown residents. Video includes a CH-47 Chinook landing in Jamestown, Colorado, picking up children (from Callwood School who were stuck in Jamestown following an environmental over-night trip), Helicopter crews picking up stranded residents, aerial shots of the Jamestown area, and helicopters dropping off personnel at the Boulder Municipal Airport.

“Unaccounted for” fluid, now totals 584 — The Boulder Office of Emergency Management told The Denver Post the most recent figures for those unaccounted for from the county flood areas has risen to 234 as of 9 p.m. Saturday. Those numbers have fluctuated throughout the day, but as of 9 p.m., Boulder OEM officials said the 234 figure was accurate and current. In Larimer County, the number of those unaccounted for from the flood areas stands at 350.

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Homes flooded in Weld County Colorado Saturday morning, September 14, 2103. (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post)


Joshua Polson/jpolson@greeleytribune.com | The Eastwood Village Mobile Home Park has extensive flooding with all homes partially submerged Saturday afternoon in Evans.


Joshua Polson/jpolson@greeleytribune.com | A mobile home begins to tip from the force of the water Saturday afternoon in Evans.

A group of horses are led across a damaged bridge over the flood waters east of Greeley.
Joshua Polson/jpolson@greeleytribune.com | A group of horses are led across a damaged bridge over the flood waters east of Greeley.


Becky Bechle: East Greeley on 18th street. Once a bridge.

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The Big Thompson River rages through the washed out Loveland Water Storage Reservoir in Larimer County Colorado Saturday morning, September 14, 2013. (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

SEE ALL PHOTOS from The Denver Post – especially the aerial views of Big Thompson Canyon, Hwy 34, between Loveland and Estes Park…

Colorado 2013 Flood Information — map of shelters for people and animals:

Morning coffee: It’s not over #COFLOOD

Prayers and donations for everyone affected by this disaster. 

Update: HERE’S A CACHED COPY of HelpColoradoNow.org – it’s probably being overloaded right now… which is good that so many want to help, but bad for getting information.

Watch news conference LIVE 9News / KUSA: 9:00AM (any minute)

4 killed, 181 unaccounted for in Colorado floods — KUSA – Authorities said 181 people are still unaccounted for after catastrophic flooding in Boulder County. Boulder County authorities say those unaccounted for are not considered missing but have not contacted friends or family. Officials have also raised the death toll from this week’s flooding in Colorado to four after a woman’s body was found in Boulder.

FEMAThe American Red Cross Safe and Well website should be used to find someone or post information about your location: http://www.safeandwell.org 

Find an open shelter by zip code: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter

@NewsBreaker: BREAKING: Number of those unaccounted in Boulder, Co Flood jumps to 218


via Paul Driscoll

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HOW TO GET FROM WYOMING TO DENVERCSP LarimerCommercial Traffic Route from WY to Denver. H85 south to H34 west to I25 and south to Denver . Open Both Directions.

Colorado Flood Highway Updates — CDOT – Last Updated: September 14, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.

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Boulder OEM: If you were evacuated and had to leave an animal at home, place an evacuation request through the call center at 303-413-7730

FEMAThank you to everyone who wants to help #coflood survivors. The best way to help? Cash. Info here: http://www.helpcoloradonow.org

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If you’ve ever driven to Estes Park from Loveland through the Big Thompson Canyon…

@ColoradoDOT: Some of the damage on US 34 in Big Thompson Canyon:
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Big Thompson Canyon – before and after:

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@DenverPost gallery: displaced families & their dogs after evacuation from #COFLOOD

Watch Live Video: SKY9 flooding coverage 9NEWS: http://on9news.tv/16svcf7 

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President approves federal disaster assistance for Colorado

President Barack Obama approved a request today from Gov. John Hickenlooper for federal disaster assistance related to the flooding in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties.
“The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas,” a notice to the Governor’s Office says.
The disaster declaration triggers the release of federal funds to help with emergency protective measures. Additional support may be made available at a later date when damage assessment can be done.

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Daily Camera#Boulder is under a flash flood watch starting noon Saturday through late afternoon Sunday, as per #NWS

EPTrailGazette: More rain in the Estes forecast: More rain is in the forecast for water-weary Estes Valley residents. bit.ly/1bhyXrv

Issued by The National Weather Service Denver/Boulder, CO: THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE BIG THOMPSON RIVER NEAR LOVELAND. * UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE… OR UNTIL THE STREAM FALLS BELOW FLOOD STAGE. * FLOOD STAGE IS 6.0 FEET. * FORECAST… THE RIVER IS FORECAST TO HAVE A MAXIMUM VALUE OF 7.2 FEET THIS MORNING. * IMPACT… AT 7.0 FEET… SYLVAN DALE RANCH NEAR CEDAR COVE IS FLOODED. WATER ALSO FLOODS SEVERAL HOUSES WEST OF MARIANNA BUTTE

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN COLORADO…

  • CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER NEAR GREELEY AFFECTING WELD COUNTY.
  • SOUTH PLATTE RIVER NEAR WELDONA AFFECTING MORGAN COUNTY.

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN COLORADO…

  • NORTH FORK BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT DRAKE AFFECTING LARIMER COUNTY.
  • BIG THOMPSON RIVER NEAR LOVELAND AFFECTING LARIMER COUNTY.
  • SOUTH PLATTE RIVER NEAR KERSEY AFFECTING WELD COUNTY.
  • SOUTH PLATTE RIVER NEAR BALZAC AFFECTING LOGAN… MORGAN AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES.

Morning coffee: #COFLOOD Friday

Holy shit.

Interstate 25 was closed Friday morning between Colorado 7 north of Denver to Colorado 14 in Fort Collins because of flooding and swollen rivers, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported.

Where are we? X marks the spot:
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Fingers crossed — so far no flooding in our neighborhood. But these poor people:

@Meagan9News: This is above Chastene’s Grove west of Loveland on the Big T–sent by a viewer:
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Longmont:
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Daily Camera: Boulder:  100-year flood:
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9News: Viewer photo: someone trying to swim to his/her car at I-70/Havana (Denver):

The Weather Channel:

In Fort Collins, neighborhoods along the Cache La Poudre River were evacuated overnight, with the river expected to rise to nearly 2 feet above flood stage Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

City officials in Fort Collins closed bridges after water began topping Seaman Reservoir in the Poudre Canyon, The Denver Post reported. The city warned residents to stay clear of the river.

In Lyons, residents took shelter on higher ground, including some at an elementary school. Although everyone was believed to be safe, the deluge was expected to continue into Friday.

“There’s no way out of town. There’s no way into town. So, basically, now we’re just on an island,” said Jason Stillman, 37, who was forced with his fiancee to evacuate their home in Lyons at about 3 a.m. after a nearby river began to overflow into the street.

The Colorado National Guard began trucking people out of Lyons on Thursday evening.

Radar rainfall estimate over northern Colorado triggering major flash flooding in Boulder and Lyons, Colo.

To the north, residents along the Big Thompson Canyon in Larimer County, scene of the deadliest flash flood in state history, were also evacuated. The Big Thompson River flooded in 1976 after about a foot of rain fell in just four hours, killing 144 people.

Early Friday, the National Weather Service warned of more flash flooding in Loveland, according to the Post. NOAA reported that the Big Thompson River at Drake was more than 4 feet above its flood stage of 6 feet.

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration Thursday night, freeing federal aid and allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

“A slow-moving area of low pressure over the Rockies combined with a moist, southerly flow at all levels of the atmosphere will keep the threat of locally heavy rain and flooding in place into the weekend,” said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.

The rain has been produced by a low pressure system that has been stationed over Nevada since late Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Dankers in Boulder.

The low has drawn subtropical moisture from the Mexican mainland over New Mexico and into the Rockies’ foothills in Colorado — and it’s been trapped by a stationary upper level ridge over the Great Plains and another system over the Great Lakes, Dankers said. The moisture becomes rain when it hits the mountains, the end result of a system he described as “a monsoon conveyer belt.”

So-called monsoon rains common to Colorado usually occur in late July and August and are typically brief events that provide welcome moisture to a normally sunny, arid state.

“This is more like something out of the Bible.”

Howard Wachtel, Boulder County

Some of the flooding was exacerbated by wildfire “burn scars” that have spawned flash floods all summer in the mountains. That was particularly true in an area scarred by fire in 2010 near the tiny community of Jamestown and another near Colorado Springs’ Waldo Canyon that was hit in 2012.

Rain is normally soaked up by a sponge-like layer of pine needles and twigs on the forest floor. But wildfires incinerate that layer and leave a residue in the top layer of soil that sheds water. A relatively light rain can rush down charred hillsides into streambeds, picking up dirt, ash, rocks and tree limbs along the way. Narrow canyons aggravate the threat.

Fire inside protected area and injured worker at Fort Calhoun nuclear plant

Event Number: 47001 | Date: 6/30/2011

OFFSITE NOTIFICATION DUE TO PERSON BEING EVACUATED

“At 1423 CDT, the Control Room was notified of a fire inside the protected area isolated to a portable water evacuation pump. At 1425 CDT, the Control Room was notified the fire was extinguished and the presence of an injured person; the Control Room immediately notified Washington County 911 to request emergency medical assistance. At 1511 CDT, injured person was transferred off-site by medical helicopter.

“This four-hour notification is being made pursuant to 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(xi), event or situation related to health and safety of on-site personnel for which notification to other government agencies has been made. NRC Resident informed.

“Due to this event, 1/2 gallon of gasoline was discharged to the Missouri River. The spill was reported to the State of Nebraska on 6/30/2011.

“This condition is also being reported pursuant to 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(xi) for News Release or Notification of Other Government Agency. Applicable state agencies have been notified per plant procedures.”

The injured person is a plant employee and was injured while refueling a portable generator. The injured person suffered burns to the forearms and neck. The licensee intends to issue a press release.

The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.

Here’s the press release from the Omaha World-Herald: Fire injury: A worker refilling the gas tank of a portable pump at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station was burned Thursday after the tank caught fire. He was taken by medical helicopter to a Lincoln hospital for treatment of arm and facial burns. The employee was injured as he used an extinguisher to put out the fire, said Jeff Hanson, a spokesman for the Omaha Public Power District. The portable pump was outside the security building — surrounded by sandbags to keep floodwaters away — but the building is not part of the power facility. The pumps are used to remove water that seeps under the barrier. Hanson said the Fort Calhoun plant was not endangered in the incident. The worker was not identified, so that relatives could be notified.

Image of Fort Calhoun collected 6/28/11 by DigitalGlobe (click to enlarge):
http://www.digitalglobe.com/downloads/featured_images/us_fortcalhoun_npp_june28_2011_dg.jpg

Image: DigitalGlobe

See all related posts for Fort Calhoun & Cooper Nuclear Station »

Flooding at Fort Calhoun: Water surrounds reactor building, spend fuel pool building

Flood tests not over for nuke plant:

Because of the collapsed water-filled dam, river water surrounds the main reactor building, mechanical building, spent fuel pool building and other structures.

Barriers at entrances to the buildings are keeping that water from entering, Hanson said. A “minor” amount of water did seep into the plant’s turbine building, he said, and was pumped out.

The buildings themselves and associated pumps and electrical equipment are designed to handle flooding up to 1,014 feet above sea level. The river is a little over 1,006 feet now and is forecast to reach a crest of 1,008 feet, barring extraordinary rains.

What if the river keeps rising? Read more…

Meanwhile, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko offered support for both utilities after visiting the plants. He said both Fort Calhoun and Cooper remain safe.

See all related posts for Fort Calhoun & Cooper Nuclear Station »

Cooper Nuclear Station: Brownville currently listed on NOAA.gov map as “major flooding”

From NOAA.gov — Missouri River level at Brownville:

Flood Categories (in feet)

Major Flood Stage: 43
Moderate Flood Stage: 37
Flood Stage: 33
Action Stage: 31.5

As of 8:30 AM this morning, the Missouri River was at 44.5 ft. at Brownville, which is already above its historical crest of 44.3 feet set in 1993. When/if it reaches 45.5 ft, the Cooper Nuclear Station will shut down — 12 inches.

It looks like they’re forecasting the level to drop — I wonder if that takes into account the Army Corps’ plan to release more water from the Gavins Point Dam today?

See all related posts for Fort Calhoun & Cooper Nuclear Station »

Morning in the bunker (Friday the 13th edition)

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Politics:

  • NEWT [GINGRICH] is so pro-marriage, he can’t stop doing it. ~ Stephen Colbert

News:

Misc:

Song of the day:

Morning in the bunker

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FLOTSAM

  • (Prison Planet / Alex Jones) — Establishment Media Pushes Brain Eating Vaccines “that virtually lobotomize people and rewire their minds into a state of subservient compliance so that their natural instinct to get angry and rebel against the tyranny being imposed upon them is neutered and sterilized.”
  • Behold: a Goblin Shark!  (Video) It has a long pointy head and a jaw that retracts out to bite and back into its face.

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NEWS:

  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a federal judge Friday to allow same-sex marriages while an appeal over the struck-down law that banned them makes its way through the courts.
  • Pakistani officials say at least 13 million people have been affected by floodwaters that have ravaged the northwest and now are sweeping southward, forcing thousands more to flee their homes.

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POLITICS:

  • The New York Post accused President Obama of implicitly apologizing for the Hiroshima bombing by sending the U.S. ambassador to Japan to an event memorializing the world’s first atomic bomb attack. But by this standard, President Ronald Reagan apologized to the SS when he laid a wreath at a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, where SS members were buried.
  • House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) can’t name a single thing he would do to reduce the deficit. He does admit that extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans will “dig the hole deeper” when it comes to the deficit.

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Clinton: Help Pakistan. Text ‘SWAT’ to 50555

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Secretary Clinton this morning encouraged Americans to text “SWAT” to 50555 to help with relief efforts in Pakistan and assist those devastated by the historic floods that have so far killed at least 1,500 people and adversely affected 3 million. You’ll be making a $10 donation to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees that will go toward providing tents, food, clothing, and clean water. (Reply with “yes” to confirm the gift.) — Foreign Policy