Colorado Flooding Causing Colossal Damage, But Stories of Success Are Emerging

September 17th, 2013 2:49 PM | No Comments

The news from Colorado certainly has been bleak, with flash flooding occurring since rains began September 11th.  accoridng to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, 17 counties have been impacted and 11,750 people had to be evacuated from their homes. Eight fatalities have been reported this far, and 648 persons are still reported missing.

Kyle Fredin, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said 21 inches of rain fell in parts of Boulder city, northwest of Denver, nearly double the area’s average annual rainfall during the week-long rains. Officials are warning residents of Nebraska that they could also see rivers overflowing mid-week. The torrential waters moved houses off of their foundations, carried away cars, vuined roads and bridges, and stranded people on their roofs or at high ground for days before air-evac could get to them.

The American Quarter Horse Journal shared a heartbreaking story of the Lange family, and their struggles during the floods:

By Christine Hamilton of The American Quarter Horse Journal

As Colorado braces for more rain to come, the flash flooding that has erupted along the Front Range since rain began September 11 has claimed lives and destroyed land and property.

And AQHA members are not unscathed.

T & L Quarter Horses of Greeley, Colorado, owned and operated by AQHA Professional Horseman Leslie Lange and husband, Tom, was completely inundated with floodwaters from the South Platte River on September 13.

It launched an amazing rescue of their horses by the Langes, their staff and neighbors.

Tom Lange and two of the farm’s hands were at home when “water rose two and a half feet in 30 minutes” in the farm’s driveway, according to Leslie. They had no notice or warning.

To read more about the Lange family, click here. As of September 16, an online fund has been set up privately for those wanting to help the Langes.

It’s not without some stories of successful rescues though! CBS Denver shared this great story of ranchers who were able to find their livestock, including their horses after seeing them on TV.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Ranchers in Weld County dealing with the floodwaters were able to save dozens of horses and cattle over the weekend.

On Friday the Ochsner family spotted their cattle and some horses that belonged to their neighbor from Copter4 video airing on CBS4 News. After seeing their animals were alive their feelings of uncertainty changed to something closer to hope.

A horse stranded on a farm in Weld County (credit: CBS)


“It was a relief because we could see where they were and they were alright,” rancher Kevin Ochsner said.

The images of animals surrounded by fields of flood water were heartbreaking for anyone to watch, but the feelings were much stronger for the families who have built their lives around them. To read more about this great story, click here.

There are many ways to help Colorado flood victims, including American Red Cross, the Colorado Horsecare Food Bank, etc. Be sure to check into the operation you are donating to, and beware of scams.

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