Colorado marks 5 years since floods left trail of destruction

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — This week marks five years since historic and deadly flooding devastated parts of Colorado.

The storm remains one of the costliest and most damaging weather events in the state’s history.

A week of heavy rain and flooding impacted two dozen counties, destroying more than 1,800 homes and causing more than $3.9 billion in damages.

Boulder County recorded the highest rainfall totals during the storm, with gauges topping off at 18 inches.

Nearly a foot of rain fell in portions of Larimer, Weld, Denver and Adams counties. Evacuation notices were issued for places such as Commerce City.

Eight people died in the flooding, including four in Boulder County, two in El Paso County and one each in Larimer and Clear Creek counties.

Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the ongoing recovery process earlier this week.

“You’ll always remember,” he said in Lyons. “All these broken roads and bridges. But you didn’t see a single broken spirit.”

Five years later, the recovery and rebuilding continues. Popular trails such as Young Gulch Trail near Fort Collins remain closed as volunteers work to restore it.

Some roads also continue to be a work in progress.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has a handful of projects and plans for the future to survive a similar storm.

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