Colorado flooding

Elise Thatcher

Officials are pushing to rebuild the Front Range after devastating floods That includes a direct line to the Roaring Fork Valley… a railroad line, that is. Tracks west of Denver were washed out-- and that means changes for Amtrak service to Glenwood Springs. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has more.

Reporter: Jeff Hershenson, who lives in Snowmass Village, is at the Glenwood Springs Amtrak station on a recent gorgeous fall day. He says the competitive fare prompted him to buy a ticket to Denver.

Heavy flooding on the Front Range has resulted in a mess. Oil and animal excrement from feedlots have spilled into or near rivers. The flooding put dams on the Front Range to the test as walls of water rushed down canyons and into towns. We’ll talk to the chief of dam safety for the state. The Roaring Fork Valley deals with suicide often more than other Colorado communities. One local non profit is trying to change that. Federal health care reform kicks into high gear next week when people can shop online for insurance. But, even with insurance, some patients struggle to get care. And, every month a Ute Indian spiritual leader leads a sweat in a cavern in Glenwood Springs. We’ll take you to the healing ceremony. And finally, we’ll introduce you to a local winter Olympic hopeful who learned to ride horses before she got on skis.

Valley Roundup - September 20th, 2013

Sep 20, 2013

The flood waters are now moving east into Kansas and Nebraska. Better weather is allowing hard hit mountain communities like Boulder to dry out. This was a singular massive rain event. How it happened seems pretty clear. How and what it means long term, less so. Brent Gardner-Smith and Bob Ward of Aspen Journalism join us this week to talk about all the water, Colorado’s on going drought and climate change.

Also, this fall, voters will decide the fate of a new funding model for public schools – Mick Ireland shares his take.

And on The Download – how hackers might be able to steal your fingerprints.

Floodwaters in the Front Range are receding and the number of missing people is going down. Residents of flood-ravaged towns are returning home. We’ll bring you an update on the floods and let you know how you can help. Some from the Roaring Fork Valley have been helping Front Range residents get back on their feet and seeing just how devastating flooding can be. The state’s climatologist says what’s strange about last week’s weather is its pattern. Simultaneous, powerful rain storms hit multiple Front Range areas at one time. Also today, men are still making more money than women in Colorado – we’ll break down the numbers, county by county. And finally, imagine flying 80 miles an hour down Aspen Mountain on skis. One Aspen ski racer could be an international champion, if she can land a spot with the Olympic team.

Flickr (Creative Commons)/Nurpu

In most years, summertime thunderstorms in Colorado give way to clear skies in mid-September. But, not this year. Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken says one of the unique parts of the torrential rains that flooded the Front Range last week is the pattern. Storms bringing heavy rain simultaneously over multiple places. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with him about the storms.