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Arguably, Colorado’s greatest appeal is the natural splendor that blesses the state. Both locals and travelers alike flock here to take advantage of our natural wonders and all they have to offer: skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, river rafting and more. From its purple mountain majesties to its amber waves of grain, Colorado is clearly the favorite child of Mother Nature.
It is for these reasons that the Colorado floods feel like a betrayal; they are a somber reminder that what Mother Nature giveth, she can also take away.
As of early Monday morning, Boulder broke its all-time annual precipitation record. The total rainfall in September amounts to 17.7 inches, bringing the yearly total to 30.13 inches. The previous yearly record was 29.93 inches from 1995.
Boulder County officials said the number of people unaccounted for is 235 as of Sunday night. In all of Colorado, that number rises to 1,254. Despite the photos of students frolicking in muddy waters and stocking up on alcohol to take advantage of the days campus was closed, it is important to remember that this disaster was not a much-appreciated long weekend.
This is a historic, 100-year flood.
While it is wonderful to see students, in true Colorado fashion, make the best of a bad situation, it is important to reflect upon the gravity of this weekend’s events.
While to some the floods may have just been an annoying series of sirens and CU alert texts and emails that kept them up all night, to others it meant evacuation, ruined homes and possessions, safety hazards and worry. Many in other areas of Colorado are still facing frightening circumstances.
Although the rains have rocked our state, I’m confident we’ll float on okay. If nature is our first draw, Colorado’s next appeal must be its people and their generous, hopeful, hard-working hearts.
Natural disasters are particularly difficult to accept because with them comes so much destruction, yet nobody to blame. As humans, placing blame is one of our most beloved pastimes. With no scapegoat in sight, let’s turn our pointed fingers into helping hands, and show some respect for our resilient state.
Contact CU Independent Opinions Editor Lizzie Hernandez at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.