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Estes Park, CO/East Rocky Mountain N.P. closed due to flooding

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Sep 12th, 2013, 11:10 AM
  #1
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Estes Park, CO/East Rocky Mountain N.P. closed due to flooding

9-12-2-13----If you were planning to visit Estes Park, CO or the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park in the next few days, you can't get there unless you go over from the west side of the park--a LONG way around.

We've had reservations to camp inside the park for the fall foliage and elk rut for months but have had to cancel. There is serious flooding, evacuations, even a few deaths due to the flooding. They expect 3-5 more inches between now and Sunday so it doesn't look like it will get better quickly.

Just a heads up before you start your travel. We were coming from NE Texas so we are really glad we found out before we left.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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Funny thing is Moraine campground and Trail Ridge Road are not closed---you just can't get there unless you drive hundreds of miles around from the west side--about 150 miles and 4 hour detour from Denver.

Of course if you are coming from the west that isn't too bad of a detour.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Sorry---2013
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Sep 12th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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There is major concern for flash flooding. The CU campus in Boulder is closed today. Nearly 10" in the past 24 and maybe another 4 to 6 today and tomorrow. We are stuck in a monsoon flow that just keeps pumping in water and more water. The big problem is around Lyons which is on the road into Estes Park. And, of this course, this is the Big Thompson canyon which nearly wiped out E Park twenty years ago.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 02:39 PM
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Highway 34 (Big Thompson canyon) has partially collapsed. From the Larimer County Sheriff site:

Larimer Sheriff ‏@LarimerSheriff 6h

Eastbound lane of Hwy 34 at MM74.5 has collapsed. Westbound lane has a large crack and is impassable. Hwy 34 remains closed.


It looks like that road will be closed for some time. No word yet on the CDOT site of when either of the other two approaches to Estes from the east could open.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for all the information. If possible continue updating please. I'll be there next weekend (Sept. 21-23) for several days to take my Mom who lives in Berthoud to Estes Park.

We may need to find alternate plans. All is fine in Berthoud at the moment.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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1976 was the Big Thompson flood; the Lawn Lake dam breach and flood was the more recent (~28 years ago)one.
They are keeping Trail Ridge as an evacuation option.
Not just 34, but also 36 (from Boulder to Lyons to Estes), is closed, and very damaged.
We're marooned, and the neighborhood dam has topped; very dramatic to see.
By Sept. 21, we'll probably be whining about fire danger again!
Meanwhile, back to the every 1/2 hour shopvac of the basement...the carpet down there is saturated, and the lino tiles are coming up. Sigh.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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p.s. only one confirmed death, a body found in Colorado Springs.
Two others are supposedly within a couple of miles of here, but they are not confirmed.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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For all three highways into Estes from the east (7, 36 & 34) CDOT is now saying "Closed due to flooding. Will remain closed overnight at minimum"

CDOT SITE HERE:
http://www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm

Roads closed all over the place north and west of Denver.

Good luck sylvia. Our friends in Estes live on the hill behind Ed's Cantina and can see the flooded golf course from their house.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 06:01 PM
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<>

Isn't that the truth!

Good luck and stay safe tonight.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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You saved my ass! Was just about to book tickets for next weekend. Thanks!
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Sep 13th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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This is from Estes Park News, Inc. via Facebook:

"Downtown Estes is totally flooded, no phone service here at all, cell or land line. National Guard is on their way up to help up here and will be doing helicopter evacuations today in the Hwy. 36 canyon or where ever needed."
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Sep 13th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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It bad and probably worse than is being reported. I-25 north of Denver is closed. Lyons is being totally evacuated. Estes Park is completely cut off and not just roads closed. Whole portions of the road bed completed wash away. Even if it stops raining today, it will be several days before rivers and streams return to their normal beds. If you don't live there, then stay away.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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The photos are horrible. Everyone stay safe and sound.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 11:50 AM
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7 News in Denver is streaming live on line. This is a great help for us family members who live states away and are concerned for our loved ones up there.

Thanks for all the info. and take care of yourselves.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 03:45 PM
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Sad to say, 4 confirmed deaths; a building collapse in Jamestown, a person found in a creek in Colorado Springs, and 2 19 year olds in North Boulder who were trying to leave a flooded car.
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Sep 16th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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These posts have been very helpful to us as we also had plans to stay in Estes Pk beginning Sep 25 for 4 nights followed by 4 more in Steamboat Springs. We have our airline tickets and prepaid rental car so we still plan to visit Colorado (again) but now need to change direction some. I'm not sure if this is the correct forum topic to ask for advice but here goes:

Having recently visited the Breckenridge/Aspen/Vail loop, we were thinking of driving south toward Co Springs then west toward Buena Vista then Gunnuson/Crested Butte area. We would appreciate any advice on a couple new destinations. We like to hike easy trails and observe wildlife; stay in moderate hotels or cabins near nice towns like Breck. We specifically chose this time for foliage and elk. Any ideas would be appreciated!
Ross from N Florida
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Sep 16th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Crested Butte sounds perfect for you. It's one of the prime areas in the state for fall color, check out Kebler Pass. Great day hikes to be had in the Elk Range north of town.

Not sure about elk viewing, but it probably won't be as good as it would have been in RMNP. Still, your plan sounds good.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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Thanks, Nelson! We did just that and are looking forward to our vacation at Crested Butte.
Ross
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Sep 17th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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Hope you have a great trip Ross!

The Elk Mountains are about as spectacular as Rocky Mountain NP.

Don't miss The Secret Stash Pizza in Crested Butte. Now that I think of it, when we were last there a few years ago it had to be a secret stash, not necessarily so these days ...
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