Image description: Some parts of Colorado received nearly a year’s worth of rain in just one week in September 2013. This pair of Landsat 8 images from August 16 (left) and September 17, 2013 (right) shows the flooded South Platte River as it flows by Greeley, Colorado, which is on the right side of the images.
Along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains are Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, and Boulder, all affected by the flooding. Flooded rivers flow from the mountains, through each of these cities, and into the South Platte.
At the time of the September 17 image, the river had gone down from well over 8 feet above flood stage to 6 feet above flood stage. Farmland and sections of U.S. Highway 34 were still underwater.
The flooding was detrimental to the entire region, causing several highways to be closed, with repairs expected to cost millions. Eight people died in the flooding. About 1,500 homes were destroyed, and thousands more were damaged. Total property loss is estimated at $2 billion.
Image from the U.S. Geological Survey.
If you live in an area that’s likely to flood, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for local information.
- Be aware of flash floods. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly.
If you have to leave your home, do not walk through moving water or drive into flooded areas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has more information about what to do during a flood and after a flood.
Image description: Before-and-after images show some of the results of recent intense Missouri River flooding near the city of Hamburg, Iowa (indicated by “A”). A closer look at the NASA image, acquired on July 17, shows that the brown sediment-choked waters went right up to the city limits — but not in. Hamburg was saved by its final defense, a 2-mile levee built with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and now under control of the city. Meanwhile, Americorps volunteers are helping to monitor the levee by checking for signs of weakness and other dangers.
Learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and working with Americorps.
Photo used with permission from Jonathan Rahmani.