The Flood Threat in Colorado By Kevin Houck, P.E., CFM Colorado Water Conservation Board March 2, 2011
Hello, may I please speak with someone from Emergency Management?
Where and When?
Where and When?
Where and When?
Where and When?
Where and When?
Where and When?
Where and When?
Where and When?
<ul><li>What do these have in common? </li></ul>
Examples of Colorado Flood Events <ul><li>10’s – Cherry Creek in Denver ($161 million, 2 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>20’s – ...
Examples of Colorado Flood Events Since Implementation of Floodplain Management Standards <ul><li>1969  South Platte River...
Examples of Recent Colorado Flood Events – Since Floodplain Management Implemented <ul><li>Since 1910, the AVERAGE annual ...
Flooding can be caused or exacerbated by… <ul><li>Heavy rain </li></ul><ul><li>Sudden snowmelt </li></ul><ul><li>Rain on s...
Colorado Average Annual Precipitation
 
 
 
 
CWCB Monitors Snowpack by Basin
Status of El Nino/La Nina can produce predictable results
NWS March and Seasonal Forecast
Flood Insurance is an indicator of flood risk <ul><li>The following communities all have over 200 policies (in order): </l...
Some Key Flood Points to Remember <ul><li>Really big floods are not that uncommon (usually at least once per decade). Most...
Thank you! <ul><li>For more information, please contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin Houck </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado Water Co...
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3 flood tools

  1. 1. The Flood Threat in Colorado By Kevin Houck, P.E., CFM Colorado Water Conservation Board March 2, 2011
  2. 2. Hello, may I please speak with someone from Emergency Management?
  3. 3. Where and When?
  4. 4. Where and When?
  5. 5. Where and When?
  6. 6. Where and When?
  7. 7. Where and When?
  8. 8. Where and When?
  9. 9. Where and When?
  10. 10. Where and When?
  11. 11. <ul><li>What do these have in common? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Examples of Colorado Flood Events <ul><li>10’s – Cherry Creek in Denver ($161 million, 2 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>20’s – Arkansas River at Pueblo ($1.02 billion, 78 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>30’s – Monument Creek ($69 million, 18 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>50’s – Purgatoire River at Trinidad ($48 million, 2 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>60’s – South Platte River in Denver ($2.95 billion, 8 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>70’s – Big Thompson Canyon ($114 million, 144 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>80’s – Heavy Snowmelt Runoff 1984 ($63 million, 2 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>90’s – Fort Collins, Sterling, Lower Arkansas River ($518 million, 6 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>00’s – No major disasters, but damages occurred </li></ul><ul><li>All values are in 2010 dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1900, the AVERAGE annual flood losses in </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado is over $57 million. 363 lives have been lost. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples of Colorado Flood Events Since Implementation of Floodplain Management Standards <ul><li>1969 South Platte River Basin ($29 million)** </li></ul><ul><li>1970 Southwest Colorado ($18 million)** </li></ul><ul><li>1973 South Platte River in Denver ($531 million)** #3 </li></ul><ul><li>1976 Big Thompson Canyon ($116 million, 144 deaths)** #7 </li></ul><ul><li>1982 Fall River/Estes Park ($67 million)** </li></ul><ul><li>1983 North Central Counties ($36 million, 10 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>1984 West/Northwest Counties ($64 million)** </li></ul><ul><li>1995 Western Slope/South Platte ($72 million, 21 deaths) </li></ul><ul><li>1997 Fort Collins/Eastern Counties ($427 million)** #4 </li></ul><ul><li>1999 Colorado Springs/Eastern Counties ($137 million)** #6 </li></ul><ul><li>2000’s – No declared disasters, but estimated damages of $136 million </li></ul><ul><li>Notes: All values are in 2010 dollars </li></ul><ul><li>**Denotes Presidential Disaster Declaration </li></ul>
  14. 14. Examples of Recent Colorado Flood Events – Since Floodplain Management Implemented <ul><li>Since 1910, the AVERAGE annual flood losses in </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado is about $57 million (2010 $) . 363 lives have been lost. </li></ul><ul><li>Since floodplain management implemented (1968): </li></ul><ul><li>- 4 of 7 costliest floods in Colorado history occurred </li></ul><ul><li>- 8 Flood Disasters (Presidential Declarations) </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Colorado Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2010 </li></ul>
  15. 15. Flooding can be caused or exacerbated by… <ul><li>Heavy rain </li></ul><ul><li>Sudden snowmelt </li></ul><ul><li>Rain on snow </li></ul><ul><li>Failed levees </li></ul><ul><li>Malfunctioning stormwater systems </li></ul><ul><li>Breaks in canals or dams </li></ul><ul><li>Rain on burn scars </li></ul><ul><li>Debris flows </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Colorado Average Annual Precipitation
  17. 21. CWCB Monitors Snowpack by Basin
  18. 22. Status of El Nino/La Nina can produce predictable results
  19. 23. NWS March and Seasonal Forecast
  20. 24. Flood Insurance is an indicator of flood risk <ul><li>The following communities all have over 200 policies (in order): </li></ul>Boulder Denver Colorado Springs Boulder County La Plata County Larimer County Arvada El Paso County Jefferson County Lakewood Fort Collins Telluride Steamboat Springs Sterling Aurora Weld County Longmont Winter Park Arapahoe County Vail
  21. 25. Some Key Flood Points to Remember <ul><li>Really big floods are not that uncommon (usually at least once per decade). Most would not have been anticipated 1-2 weeks in advance even with today's forecasting skill. </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado snowmelt is usually well behaved. </li></ul><ul><li>Snowmelt floods usually require prolonged very warm temperatures and/or widespread late season snowpack including snow on south facing slopes. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of Colorado’s worst floods are rainfall floods. </li></ul><ul><li>Floods and drought are not mutually exclusive. </li></ul>
  22. 26. Thank you! <ul><li>For more information, please contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin Houck </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado Water Conservation Board </li></ul><ul><li>(303)866-3441 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.cwcb.state.co.us </li></ul><ul><li>**Daily Flood Threat Bulletin Begins May 1st </li></ul>

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