Reviewing Local Flood Hazards


Boulder's Substantial Flood Risk near Town and Just Downstream

The town of Boulder, Colorado, is subject to intense flash floods and there is one particular section of town (along the creek near the center of the city) that is known to be a particularly hazardous zone with respect to both how quickly and violently a flash flood could impact the area. People living in, or traveling through this area should know how to react quickly in the event of a large-scale flood.

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Learn More About Boulder's
Most Dangerous Areas


It's up to you:

Boulder has great firefighters and rescue personnel and we have diligent city management teams and advanced weather prediction and warning systems. But these things only offer a certain measure of protection from the random chaos of a serious flash flood event.   The bulk of the work for keeping yourself and your family safe comes down to you. Emergencies of any kind favor those who have taken some steps to prepare themselves ahead of time

"Resist the normal urge to rush home immediately during a heavy rainfall event. Sometimes getting to high ground and staying put for a while is a safer alternative for you and Boulder rescue personnel."

Are you ready for a flood?

An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness


Learn the Land:

The first, most general, thing you can do is to get to know your local landscape.   Use the maps on this site to find where the local streams and drainages are and where the roads you drive the most intersect these potentially dangerous areas. It is especially good to know of hazardous bridge areas and low-lying roads near creeks.  

Plan Ahead:

The single most important thing you can do for your safety is to be mentally prepared for a rapid onset flood event. Make no mistake about it, when a large rainfall hits Boulder, it can turn this area into a "war zone" and you won't know how bad it's going to get once it starts. There are always complicating factors like poor visibility and/or the darkness of night. Keep in mind that every rescue effort draws precious resources from a very limited supply. This means that if you make a poor decision that results in a minor rescue, you could be drawing resources away from those in greater, perhaps even life-threatening, need.

Hurry Up and Wait!

Sometimes the best thing you can do is respond rapidly to keep yourself from immediate danger, then switch gears and "shelter in place" - waiting out the few hours it takes for the situation to stabilize.    Resist the normal urge to rush home immediately.   Chances are, you won't really know how bad things are until its too late. Conversely, many flash floods only present grave dangers for a period of hours before subsiding.

Efficient Communication

Use your cell phone to locate family and insure that everyone is safe where they are. But don't linger to avoid overloading the network needed for recue and relief personnel during a large scale event.