Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bucket List

Most people these days have a 'Bucket List'. But not many folks have a 'List' that consists of 'Natural Disasters'
It seems that one of my 'Lists' is just that! I've experienced: Blizzards, Dust Storm, Hurricane, Tornado (twice), Forest Fires, Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruption, Flooding (from Tropical Storm), and Drought (several times). I didn't choose to have such a 'List' but it appears that I am destined to have one - a 'Bucket List' of Natural Disasters. The latest additions to the 'List' are Mudslides and Flash Floods.

Two weeks ago we headed to Colorado Springs to get Hubby settled in at his new 'home' - an rv campground located in the foothills of Pikes Peak. Hubby had taken a new job in Colorado Springs and the rv was going to be his home for a bit. 
Sometimes things happen for a reason. We didn't know the reason a wire had come loose from the engine causing the rv to break down as we were leaving Denver. We thought it was just a bit of aggravation. It was a quick repair but the delay saved us from a lot of headaches down the road. Headaches we wouldn't know about for another two hours. 
A heavy rain shower took place in the foothills of Pikes Peak just as we were approaching Colorado Springs. This thunderstorm delivered a lot of rain in a very short amount of time over the burn scar from the Waldo Canyon fire which runs along Highway 24 out of Colo. Springs. Highway 24 runs along the bottom of the canyon which was formed by Fountain Creek. The Waldo Canyon fire took place in 2012 and devastated over 18, 245 acres.
Waldo Canyon Fire map
Because of the fire, there is no vegetation to hold the soil in a heavy rain. And the cloudburst which occurred while we were driving on the Interstate, caused a massive amount of mud and rocks to come down the hillsides and cover not only the road and strand many motorists but also caused damage to numerous homes and turned Fountain Creek into a black, muddy mess of churning flood waters. 

I had received an alert (Thanks to Nixle!) about the road closure. We managed to pull off the road (traffic was awful!) at a trailhead and park the rv. We decided to head into Manitou Springs for supper while we waited for the road to be cleared. We stopped at a Mexican place Hubby had heard good things about. But the restaurant was located on Fountain Creek and two large firetrucks were parked in their parking lot. As we approached the building, we overheard a fireman tell the manager that they needed to sandbag their deck by the creek in preparation for the next storm which was looming over the foothills. We decided to eat somewhere else. 

About an hour and a half later the road was re-opened. The trip up the canyon was interesting - the road was slick with mud residue and there were huge piles of mud and rock along the sides of the road. But at least we hadn't been caught in any of it. The Universe was looking out for us.

A week later (just a week ago), another heavy rain occurred in the same area. This time video footage was taken of the mudslide and flash flood, which were even worse than the ones from the week before. I heard on the news that it takes from 3-5 years for an area to stabilize after it has been ravaged by fire.

The first two videos (below) were taken on Highway 24 last week during the mud-flood. The last video was taken along Fountain Creek by someone walking his dog. Pay close attention at the beginning of the video and you will see the color of the water darken as the muddy water from up the canyon enters the creek. And the siren you hear later in the last video, is a Flash Flood siren. These sirens can be found in many of the steep, narrow canyons which dot the foothills of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. That ear piercing sound warns hikers and residents of impending floods.

And then there was the tornado on Pikes Peak this past Saturday....

image source
I think someone needs to check those HAARP settings......


the dogs' mother said...

One of my very good friends and hubby are moving to Colorado this fall and it seems like it always in the news now.

Danni said...

Wow, Jeanne, that's nearly impossible to even believe. I mean, I'm watching it but my mind doesn't believe it. Weather is a crazy and often dangerous thing, something so many people seem to forget.

Glad you and hubby missed out on the actual events and hope his new job is going well! <3

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Holy moly, those videos are scary! Glad you're okay and your RV is too.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in California for awhile, fires and mudslides are two of our seasons. (The other two are heat and earthquakes.)I know this one.

After a fire, there is absolutely nothing to stop a mudslide from happening. It's frightening. Really frightening.

I always say that about delays: that I'm being kept from a car accident or something equally awful. Glad that world out for you and Hubby.

Robin Larkspur said...

Obviously the Universe put obstacles in your way to keep you safe!!
Seems like the only thing you are missing are plagues of locusts!! Stay safe and good luck to Hubby on his job!!

Justine’s Halloween said...

What an insane amount of natural disasters for one person to experience! You had me surprised at the two tornadoes.

I guess this is one of those times when you think an event is unlucky and it turns out to save you from something worse! Those mudslides are scary. The way that car just got carried away in that one video was nuts. It's funny to see what expressions a disaster brings out in people from all the swearing in that car to the "Holy Moly" in the last video. :)

Glad you guys are OK!

Introverted Art said...

OMG Jeanne, I will stick with the bucket list!!!!