‘We’re In a State of Anxiety’

Sep 16, 2013 by

Jennifer Kabbany –

They’ve seen cars drift by along submerged streets, basements completely flooded, people’s belongings strew across muddy yards. Overhead, the thump-thump-thump of National Guard Chinook helicopters flying on their way to rescue the stranded reverberates through the University of Colorado-Boulder community.

They stick to drinking their dwindling supply of bottled water, just in case tap water has been contaminated. They’re quick to help friends remove soaked carpets and pick-up trash. They look with shock and sadness at pictures flooding Facebook, images of places they’ve grown up in or visited under walls of water and thick mud.

That’s how some CU Boulder students, in interviews with The College Fix, described the scene in the wake of heavy rains and flooding across Colorado that have reportedly killed at least six people, damaged tens of thousands of homes, and forced the evacuation of thousands.

“We’re in a state of anxiety,” said Aslinn Scott, a senior at CU Boulder. “We’re all toughing it out, but there’s so many people unaccounted for. … To see some of the places I grew up completely flooded – it’s hard to take in.”

The aftermath of a flood that has wreaked havoc in much of Colorado has definitely effected the University of Colorado-Boulder and its students and faculty. The rain began last Monday and it continued through the weekend, and more is expected today, but campus officials decided to resume classes, all the while urging caution.

“Due to high creek levels and saturated soils, any rainfall could quickly create flash flood conditions again,” campus officials said. “It is essential that the campus community stay on alert and continue to avoid all creeks and flooded areas.”

Scott, as well as CU Boulder student Spencer Case, told The Fix that an estimated 25 percent of the classrooms on campus have some kind of water damage, and the university is not alone.

“There is hardly a basement in Boulder that hasn’t lost $20,000 in value,” Case said. “It’s been pretty wild.”

Case said the rain that created the flooding wasn’t torrential – but it just never stopped.

“It just rained a lot – enough that you expect this kind of rain once every several hundred years,” he said.

Case, a U.S. Army veteran, said he was in Pakistan in 2010 when that country was hit with massive flooding after a monsoon, a natural disaster that some called the worst flooding in its history. Case said the flooding in Colorado was “at least as bad as that.”

“I have never seen so much rain,” he said.

Images that dot the region include water hose pumps snaking out of front doors as home owners desperately try to salvage their basements and avoid mold. In some towns hit the hardest – outside of Boulder – many people remain stranded and without power. Some places have literally been washed away.

The CU Boulder community is doing what it can to help. About 200 student-athletes spent their Saturday serving food to families evacuated from campus housing. Scott said there’s talk among campus leaders to launch trash pick-ups or other efforts to help out.

“It’s nice to see a movement start among students,” she said. “They want to do this for the community.”

via ‘We’re In a State of Anxiety’.

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