Saturday, October 12, 2013

Things I Love - No. 7 - I Love Colorado

I had been enjoying writing these posts daily and things were moving right along. Now I realize this is a process that will unfold at its own pace. It has been a busy, busy month, and there were times this past month of joy as well as sadness for my home state. See map found in The Denver Post on September 19 2013.

Denver Post Map of 2013 Flooding

A month ago the massive flooding began to occur in Colorado, and I could not help being mesmerized by the 24/7 reporting on Denver TV stations. It was horrific to watch the flooding unfold then, and now the cleanup goes on and on and on. This disaster will total billions of dollars. It will take years, just to replace roads. What about communities? What about lives uprooted? What about the people?

I Love Colorado!

Thankfully we personally weren't in the path of this disaster which has been described as a thousand-year flood. Still, lives were lost, and many people have lost their homes. As of today, new communities are finding e-coli in their water supply, and this is a month later. People have had to wear gloves to clear out personal belongings they had accumulated from their homes, because the flood waters that filled their homes were so toxic.

I couldn't be unaffected, because I was raised on the Front Range and lived all around the Denver area for many years. These photos on TV were of places that were familiar to me, and there are many memories of having walked over the bridges over Boulder Creek where the water was up to the top, of picnics and gatherings along the banks of the Big Thompson River, and of driving countless times through the towns of Longmont and Loveland on Hwy. 287 from Lakewood to Fort Collins. Both of these towns were cut in half. Simply to see familiar buildings and terrain destroyed is shocking. I can't imagine the terror some of the residents of the canyons felt, and the physical injuries that occurred while tons of rushing water and continuous rains prevented rescue.

It will take years for the state to recover, and it's not only the floods, but also the terrible fires that have affected parts of Colorado in the last two years. Thousands and thousands of acres have burned, and many homes have been destroyed and more lives.

I know that in time recovery will happen. I also know that the scars will be here for a long, long time. Forests take a lifetime to re-grow, and a whole lot of people don't have enough years left on earth to see that happen. That makes me sad for Colorado.

All of this has reinforced how much I love the state I grew up in. I love Colorado!

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