1 Year Later: Lingering Emotional Effects of the Flooding in Boulder County

On September 13, 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared the county as a national disaster area.

More than 18 inches of rain fell on the region over a 5-day period. The storm came so quietly. No booming lightning. No rolling thunder. It just wisped in silently, without nature’s warning.

Just over a year has passed since the flood ravaged our towns, and this massive storm still remains in the mind of Boulder’s residents. The sound of rain, which was once calming, has become a trigger, sending their heart rates soaring and brining back memories from last year’s devastating flood. It has become a paranoia. People get constantly worried about how much rain is going to pour.

Psychotherapists believe that the said anniversary is likely to bring a range of emotions for the flood survivors. People who have moved forward can now celebrate their progress, while the others stare at the window, concerned that the memories will set them back again.

Colorado spirit

Since the flood, the number of people seeking therapy has vastly increased. Unfortunately, free and low-cost mental health services are diminishing over time; thus, making support difficult to provide to the numerous residents affected by the flood.

Hoping to make a difference, one organization, Colorado Spirt, is hoping to combat the lack of services by providing mental health support statewide until the end of the year. This program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

They have also organized a number of events across the state, hoping to bring the people together and provide a release to the survivors through music.

The flood may have been a terrible and traumatic experience, but the most important thing is that we survived.

While the stress has slowly loosened its grip on Boulder’s residents, we are hoping that the lingering emotional effects will continue to fade as the anniversary approaches.