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September 19, 2013

Front Range Floods and a Recipe for a Canyon Part 2

by Herb Saperstone

The video of road damage along Highway 34 from Loveland to Estes Park is amazing. The road was reinforced after a deadly flood in the summer of 1976 that killed 143 people in this canyon.  Now, almost a week after the 2013 flood, river waters are receding to reveal destruction among 17 counties- both in the mountains and on the high plains.  So far nearly 19,000 homes have been damaged, and over 1,500 have been destroyed.  The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates that at least 30 state highway bridges have been destroyed and an additional 20 are seriously damaged, with repairs for damaged bridges and roads expected to cost many millions of dollars.  Canyon cutting in the age of human settlement is expensive and deadly.

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