I usually write about writing, but right now I’m moved to write about what’s happening in my beautiful state, Colorado.
In the past few months, we have faced horrible drought conditions, devastating forest fires, and now we are experiencing rain in unprecedented amounts.
To give you an idea, we average about twenty inches of rain a year in Colorado. Boulder and surrounding areas have gotten more than fifteen inches of rain in a few days. Roads, bridges and dams are broken or washed out all over the front range (I read that the affected areas are the size of Connecticut). Numerous creeks and rivers are overflowing. As I write this, the news is showing more flooding in Aurora, an eastern Denver suburb. The University of Colorado postponed its football game (only the third time – the first after President Kennedy’s assassination, the second after 9-11).
Four people are dead (so far). Hundreds of people are unaccounted for. Many more are trapped in canyons, out in farming communities, without power or a way to get out. Farm animals are stranded.
It’s really bad…
I have friends that went to Estes Park on Tuesday, planning to return Thursday evening. It was raining when they left Denver, but nothing to be concerned about. I called my friend on Friday, to make sure they’d returned home safely. She said they were staying in cabins in the Big Thompson Canyon, south of Estes Park. At six a.m. Thursday morning, people in the neighboring cabin knocked on their door. Get out now, they said. Water had already flooded the cabin below them. My friends drove back to Estes Park and across the mountains to Nederland, Central City and then I-70. Roads were closed shortly after they got through. They feel very fortunate to be alive, and I am grateful they are.
My family and friends are okay. Many are not.
I’m used to hearing if you don’t have to go out, don’t when it snows…not when it rains.
I feel very fortunate, as I live in the southwest part of Denver, and so far my area has not had flooding. But we’re expecting more heavy rain through Sunday.
And then there will be clean-up. And worries about mud slides in burn areas. The state will need help. I plan to volunteer, and I also will donate a portion of my book proceeds to charities that will help our state. I also know that another Coloradan, Stant Litore, is donating a portion of his book royalties to flood relief as well. If you hear of other authors who are helping, let me know.
I hope you will consider helping too. Even if it’s just your thoughts and prayers…we need them.