Planet Gore

Harry Reid Blames Global Warming for the Colorado Floods

Well, of course he does. Via Big Government:

We should be facing the reality of climate change. Look what happened in Colorado. I talked to Senator Bennet yesterday, he said the floods were “biblical.” In one part of Colorado, it rained 12 inches in two hours. I can’t imagine that. 

Fires all over the West — climate change is here. 

As for Boulder, Colorado, they’ve been preparing for floods of this nature since the Big Thompson Canyon flood in 1976:

The torrential rains and walls of water that rushed through stream channels caught many Coloradoans by surprise this week, but disaster scenarios have long foretold the fatal flash floods that tore through Colorado’s foothills.

“We knew this kind of rain was possible,” said Matt Klesch, a hydrometeorologist at the University Corporation for Academic Research (UCAR), based in Boulder, Colo. This week, Boulder set a record for its wettest 24-hour period, with 7.21 inches (18.3 centimeters) of rain from 6 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 11) to Thursday, and more than 12 inches (30 cm) in total from Monday to Friday.

In 2004, the University of Colorado’s Natural Hazards Center listed a flash flood in Boulder as one of six “disasters waiting to happen” in the United States. But scientists and emergency officials have been preparing for this week’s flooding since 1976, when a flash flood killed 145 people in Boulder’s Big Thompson Canyon. [Colorado Flood Photos: 100-Year Storm]

“Prior to that, we weren’t really prepared,” Klesch told LiveScience. “Big Thompson Canyon was a wake-up moment.”

After the 1976 flood, the city of Boulder bought up undeveloped land along flood zones to prevent development, said Dennis Mileti, the director emeritus of the University’s Natural Hazards Center. The city built bike paths to serve double-duty as floodwater channels, with breakaway fences so debris wouldn’t jam.

“Boulder is one of the most progressive communities [in the United States] in terms of making reasonable decisions about how to develop and to not develop the flood plain,” Mileti told LiveScience.

And then there’s this:

The Rocky Mountains have long been prone to flash floods. Native Americans warned Boulder’s founders of flooding, according to historical accounts. The U.S. Geological Survey has mapped the remnants of ancient flash floods all along the Colorado Front Range, where steep mountain canyons send debris pouring into town, along with the rocks that give Boulder its name.

The last 100-year flood in Boulder was in 1894, so the city was statistically overdue for another disaster. (Note that even though a 100-year flood appears on average once a century, it’s possible for two 100-year events to hit in back-to-back years; the term actually refers to the 1 percent chance of the event happening in any given year.)

What’s happening in Colorado is a tragedy, but it’s not because of global warming or any weather event that wasn’t expected. 





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