What can you do now? Be compassionate and understanding. Keep your message simple and let people know that they can protect themselves and their families from floods and teach them how. Help people understand the simple truth about floods…they will happen again. Improve your local flood warning capabilities and involve your stakeholders.
What results can you expect from the last bullet? Improve your local flood warning capabilities and involve your stakeholders—an unexpected email from a local emergency manager…
Email dated 7/29/2010 Hi Kevin, I want to tell you what chain of events happened in my office yesterday. At 0932 we get the HPO from UDFCD. Boulder has HIGH message potential for later in the day. At 1434 we get an internal message that the thunderstorms are developing.
At 1503 we get the storm track that shows the storms are mostly south of us toward Denver, but there is a very small yellow spot west of Boulder near Nederland. I log into your special secret radar site that you let us use and I see the small yellow spot near Nederland.
As I am doing my office work, I am observing the radar on another monitor, I notice the yellow spot getting larger and changing colors to red and not moving. At 1528 NWS issues a flood advisory for west central Boulder County near Nederland.
At 1540 I get the Storm track from UDFCD for the Denver cell, but it shows the yellow spot west of Nederland is now red and getting worse. I am getting nervous about what I am seeing and I am getting reports from deputies in the field of heavy rain and hail.
At 1540 on your radar I see the storm cell has blown up, very large, is fiery red and not moving. I am on the phone with NWS when your Message A comes out for Boulder County. I ask Dave from NWS what he is seeing near Nederland and he says they are "typing up the flood warning as we speak“.
As you know the storm dumped over 8 inches of marble and pea sized hail west of Nederland in the Eldora ski area, runoff from the heavy rain caused streams to overflow the banks and wash over bridges and roadways, flooded streets in Nederland, car accidents, and closed roads until the snow plows could get the open.
The point of this email and change of events is to let you know how I was able two anticipate and react to your radar and what I was seeing before NWS issued a flood warning. Thank you! Dan Barber Boulder OEM
Thank you for listening Kevin Stewart, President National Hydrologic Warning Council President@hydrologicwarning.org Kevin Stewart, President National Hydrologic Warning Council President@hydrologicwarning.org