Aren’t all of those residents in Colorado just so annoying with their fires and kidnappings and shootings and bears and floods? Knock it off with the drama already, Colorado!

But with apologies ahead of time, Tom Bagli had to tell this story of his trials and tribulations in Boulder. The Super Storm may not have been Sandy, but it sure was a doozy!



Subject: Super Storm Boulder

Dateline – Boulder: Thursday September 12, 2013; 7 am: I’m just waking up after a fitful sleep. The night was spent literally hiding under the covers as ferocious thunderstorms sent an hours-long deluge onto the foothills west of Boulder. Daisy and I head downstairs.  Passing by the guestroom where the McNamara’s are snoozing away the wee hours of dawn, we gear up readying for a morning walk. Melissa Bagli and Elle McNamara are crashed upstairs in the girls area. Carrie Bagli is on a flight back from Pittsburgh/Allentown having just visited her family. Due in at 9:30 am. Got to get a walk in and be out the door at 8:30 to pick her up. No problem. Entering the humid morning air we immediately step into a 4” gulp of silty mud. A bad feeling. Two steps was all it took to know I had a problem. Back to the guestroom. “Mackie, I have a serious flooding issue. I need help now!”

As you can imagine, family jumps to life to help family. Meg and Tom McNamara were here for the whole ordeal; all five days. It was an intense, at times crisis, situation. We love each other and we did our best to enjoy our time. We ate good meals, drank nice wine, watched good shows. But it was a total bust of a weekend. We bailed and shoveled and swept and mopped and dragged and took our muddy shoes on and off 127 times. We had 50 yard line seats for the CU game. Cancelled. Ellie’s place got flooded. Like bad flooded. Melissa missed two days of work because Route 36 and surrounding roads were impassable. No hiking. No biking. None. No sun. No mountain views. Nothing.

As difficult as it was, there was also certain amount of excitement. Adrenaline I guess. It was an historic national weather event. And we were at ground zero. Do you think our hearts were pounding? A river of mud and water from our local mountain, Mt. Sanitas, had rained a fire and brimstone, rock and mud slide deluge into our neighborhood overnight. The streets were 5” deep brown-red rivers – no pavement. Tumbling rocks and trees and mud, non-stop. A car in the road across the street became a diversion for the water to cross our street and pour into ours and our neighbors homes. And there was no stopping it. It was bewildering and I was in a certain state of shock. Mackie and I frantically modeled a dam shoveling mud and rocks in front of our drive. It mostly got washed away.



Meg and Mackie had a harrowing drive to get Carrie at the airport while I futilely stood guard at home.  After literally finding just enough pavement to drive a car on the river that was Broadway, the Macs return with Carrie, lots of food and wine, and trash bags which we soon fashioned into sandbags using the ample mud at our disposal. It’s still raining by the way. All day, rain. By evening, the low lying area in front of our garage and the covered portico entrance to our home is filling up like a bathtub. Melissa, Carrie, Elle, Mackie, Meg and I have push brooms and snow shovels going full bore on pushing out the water. We were clearing drains. Desperate. And it worked. It rained all night but the house stayed dry.

The next day we ventured out and witnessed the furry of destruction the city endured. The usual assortment of Boulder yahoos were out. Cole Mayer among them, natch. A bunch of kids had Boogie Boards tied to long bungees they used to propel themselves across the new lake on Boulder High’s lacrosse field. The creek was…how can I even explain it…exploding? Roaring, torrential, running right through the middle of town. That night flood sirens wailed with warnings of debris flows and walls of water coming down Boulder Canyon. Carrie and I were in our bedroom winding down from the day and we heard a sustained roaring like we had never heard. What was that?! We discovered the next morning that one of our neighbors, whose home is right up against the open space, had a mud slide slam into the back of her home. Feet of mud and rocks. And there were many other events like this up and down the west side of town.

Then Mario the handyman came over. We cleaned and tore up carpet and threw stuff out. Nasty. Excitement over. At which point I’ll end my story. Just know that we’re all good now. Many other had it much worse. I’m grateful to my family and friends for their support. Especially the McNamara’s who were chin-up and pitch-in all weekend long. Day after day.

Thanks to all of you for your concern. Sorry if you called; I didn’t answer the phone. I had a drain to clear.



Tommy Bagli

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