For Immediate Release February 11, 2014
Staff Contact: Rigo Leal, Public Information Officer, 303-651-8840
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I (Heart) Longmont Community Event:
Celebrate the Opening of Park and Greenway Sections
February 19, 2014 - Longmont Cable channel 8 (The Longmont Channel) has produced a short video on the ribbon-cutting celebration at Golden Ponds. Scroll down and click the play button.
February 11, 2014 - Show your love for Longmont on Valentine’s Day by celebrating the re-opening of Golden Ponds Park areas, the St. Vrain Greenway west of Hover Street, the Lykins Gulch Greenway, and Left Hand Greenway from Hover Street to Main Street. These areas damaged by the September 2013 flood have been repaired and will be ready for your enjoyment on February 14. Roger’s Grove Park and Fairgrounds Lake are also on track to re-open during the week of February 17.
Mayor Dennis Coombs and Longmont City Council members will join the community in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 14, at Golden Ponds, 2651 3rd Avenue. Local cycling group, Bicycle Longmont, will also be in attendance to show support with an honorary trail ride. The city’s new fire truck is scheduled to make an appearance. It replaces the fire engine lost during the flood. Heart-warming gifts, hot chocolate and sweet treats will be available for attendees.
"As we hit the six-month mark of the historic 2013 flood, the City is making great strides in repairing our community's damaged infrastructure," Mayor Coombs said. "While some repairs have been accomplished quickly, some others will take months and even years."
For more information on the City of Longmont’s flood recovery efforts, including a map of parks and trails currently open, please visit bit.ly/flood-info. Brief closures may occur in re-opened park and greenway areas as repairs to other flood-damaged infrastructure continue.
In September 2013, Longmont received more than six inches of rain in one week. In towns upstream, there was even more rain. All that water crashed down the mountains, breaching dams and river channels, flooding hundreds of homes, destroying bridges, and damaging miles of Longmont’s greenways and trails.
At the peak of the flood, St. Vrain Creek flowed at over three times its channel’s maximum holding capacity. The peaceful creek turned into a raging river, carrying 7.6 million gallons of water per minute. Except for Ken Pratt Boulevard, all major roadways crossing St. Vrain Creek were severed during the flood, essentially cutting Longmont in half. More than 200 residents needed emergency rescue.
Repairs to streets, parks, trails, water resources, irrigation ditches, drainage systems, power lines and public buildings will cost the City of Longmont an estimated $62 million, to be paid with a combination of local, state and federal dollars. The City has also created intergovernmental agreements with Boulder County and the Town of Lyons for recovery efforts.
To prevent a similar catastrophe, another estimated $90 million is needed for future flood mitigation in the form of channel restoration along St. Vrain Creek and Left Hand Creek, including expanded bridges designed to pass 100-year flood flows.
Follow the journey to completion online at bit.ly/flood-info.