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Safety and Preparedness
Flood Awareness Week is July 22-29
Fort Collins is vulnerable to river and stream flooding, flash floods and urban street flooding.
Flooding along rivers is a natural and inevitable element of nature. Some floods occur seasonally when spring rains and melting snow fill river basins too quickly.
Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms or thunderstorms repeatedly moving over the same area.
Urban street flooding occurs when land is converted to roads or parking lots and loses its ability to absorb rainfall. Urbanization increases runoff two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain and can cause streets to become swift-moving rivers during rainfall.
To increase safety, the Fort Collins Utilities Flood Warning System provides information and emergency services. The Office of Emergency Management describes flood risk and preparation.
The 1997 Spring Creek Flood was the worst disaster in Fort Collins.
- New in 2016: Fort Collins Flood Safety Tips (5:42)
- New in 2016: Reflections on the 1997 Spring Creek Flood (6:11)
- New in 2017: Volunteers vs. Extreme Weather – The CoCoRahS Story: From a Deadly flood in 1997, to a life-saving network of weather watchers in 2013. (Courtesy THE CROWD & THE CLOUD, CrowdAndCloud.org, made possible by NSF, the National Science Foundation. (12:13)
- Turn Around and Don't Drown (National Weather Service PSA, 0:52)
- Fort Collins Flood Mitigation Efforts (11:42)
- Building Smart Down by the River (3:22)
- The State Climatologist: Honest Broker of Information (3:48)
- Tools for Flood Resilience: Lessons from Fort Collins (4:19)
- Fort Collins' Flood Warning System (12:26)
- Fort Collins' Flood of 1997 (9:49)
- Poudre River Restoration (3:23)
- Water's Fury (21:36)
- Moving Water: Adventure or Danger? (14:23)
*Source: Federal Alliance for Safe Homes