It’s Monday, Sept. 11, 2023.

Here we are at Monday, Boulder. I hope your weekend left you refreshed and content.

For today, I have a flood story for the 10th anniversary of the 2013 floods. Ten years ago this week a cold front settled over the Front Range and dumped a devastating amount of rain that caused a catastrophic amount of flooding. Though roads and bridges have been repaired, I wondered how much better prepared we are a decade after the fact. If 2013 repeated itself, would we fare better?

As of now, probably not by much. Though the city has more than 30 projects planned for the next 30 years β€” costing more than $300 million β€” many are years or decades from even breaking ground. The reasons come down to cost, planning and public pushback, according to the city.

Also, the county has announced some funding of nonprofits for fire mitigation efforts. The timing of this announcement comes right after I reported on such efforts in Coal Creek Canyon.

Enjoy the day. I hope it’s swell.

β€” Tim

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Boulder’s flood risk: A decade after 2013’s deadly deluge, are we ready for the next?

The $63 million South Boulder Creek mitigation project is furthest along among 37 city initiatives planned over decades to safeguard thousands of homes from danger. Many creeks posing a risk to Boulderites are still years or even decades away from flood mitigation. Continue reading…

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In other news

60s and thunder

A temperate week begins with its coolest day. Following 60s today, the rest of the week should stay in the low to mid-70s with a cloud here and a thunderstorm there. September, it seems, is starting to show its colors. So for all the bears who read BRL, it’s probably a good time to start fattening up.

Burglar targets University Hill homes during game

While many in town were at the Buffs game on Saturday, a burglar took advantage of residents’ absences to target several homes in the University Hill neighborhood, according to the Boulder Police Department. One home he tried to get into still had someone home who called the police at 9 a.m. Though police responded, the suspect made himself scarce down a back alley. After continued surveillance of the area, and continued calls from several more residents whose homes had been burgled, Boulder PD saw and arrested the suspect.

There are thought to be more homes affected than have been reported. Those who think their home received an unwanted visitor are encouraged to contact Boulder Police and Fire Dispatch at 303-441-3333, referencing case 23-9023.

Boulder’s tree sale ends soon: Help cool your city

Running through late September, the City of Boulder, along with Cool Boulder and the PLAY Boulder Foundation, are selling trees. Specifically, they are selling trees well-suited for Boulder’s climate. Community members can buy up to 10 trees, with pickup dates on Sept. 29 and 30 at 5200 Pearl Parkway.

This is a small but important step Boulderites can take to help make our town more resilient against climate change. As a NOAA-funded study found, more tree cover directly correlates with cooler neighborhoods. And as much of Boulder’s tree canopy is at risk from the Emerald Ash Borer, planting trees at a rapid rate is a must. Just make sure to water them after planting. Dead saplings don’t do much good for cooling or carbon capture.

Fill out the 2023 community survey

You might be getting some mail from the City of Boulder. Launched on Sept. 5, the city is sending surveys to 6,000 Boulder households. The survey will gather feedback on city priorities, quality of life and satisfaction with government services. And the results will help guide city council decisions and planning, according to the city.

If you don’t get something in your mailbox, fear not. An online version of the survey, available to all members of the community, will open for input in early October and will remain open until Oct, 17. The last time such a survey was conducted was 2018.

Nonprofits get county money for wildfire mitigation

Boulder County has awarded funding to local nonprofits for fire mitigation. The Boulder Watershed Collective and The Watershed Center have been chosen as partners to enhance education, outreach and forest management projects in the county. Each organization will receive $200,000 annually for five years, sourced from the county’s newly implemented Wildfire Mitigation Sales Tax that was approved by voters in 2022.

The announcement comes after BRL reported on nonprofit mitigation efforts in Coal Creek Canyon.

Boulder’s Andrea Gibson becomes poet laureate

Boulder-based poet Andrea Gibson is Colorado’s new poet laureate, announced at Chautauqua Park last Wednesday. Gibson, known for their diverse themes, including love, mental health and social justice, is also open about their queer and non-binary identity. Their journey through ovarian cancer treatment influenced their work.

β€œI want to come up with new and inventive ways to help a larger population fall in love and appreciate poetry,” they said of their new role. “I want everyone to have a poem that they can go to like you would with a song.” 

Gibson has written six full-length poetry collections. They have won the Independent Publishers Award twice, earned three Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist nominations, and won the inaugural Women’s World Poetry Slam. In 2017, Penguin Books released “Take Me With You,” an illustrated compilation of Gibson’s quotes. Their debut nonfiction work, “How Poetry Can Change Your Heart,” was published in 2019.

Watch out for tree pruning in Louisville

Starting Sept. 8, the City of Louisville started a tree maintenance and pruning project along South Boulder Road, Cherry Street and Dillon Road. Pruning will involve removing dead branches, ensuring clearance over roadways and sidewalks, clearing sightlines and reducing limb weights over roads. While this work continues throughout September, occasional lane closures may be necessary.

Events this week to commemorate the 2013 flood

Tuesday, Sept. 12:

  • 6 to 8 p.m. β€” 2013 Flood Commemoration Story Circle at the Carnegie Library for Local History in Boulder. Learn more and register.

Thursday, Sept. 14:

  • 6 p.m. β€” Crisis to Camaraderie: Opening of the 2013 Flood Photo Exhibit at the Longmont Museum. Learn more.

Saturday, Sept. 16:

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Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other climate-related issues for Boulder with a focus on explanatory and solutions journalism. He also is the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Tim grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from UNH with a degree in English/Journalism. Email: tim@boulderreportinglab.org.