I’m writing this after my first hot shower in over two weeks. This was not my inner hippie taking over, either. Or my outer one. On August 9th, somewhere between 1.25″ and 1.75″ of rain fell in less than an hour over the Waldo Canyon burn scar and floodwaters rushed into Manitou Springs, Colorado. From our second floor apartment we watched in horror as a river of mud, water and debris was suddenly raging both in front of and behind our building. A river that washed away cars (ours included), destroyed homes, and damaged businesses in the heart of historic downtown. One of which we live above.
As news began to spread on social media as to what was happening in Manitou, news stations I had shared footage with of past flooding began to ask me if I had any footage of what was happening. So I grabbed my camera, an instinct that normally comes to me much quicker but that shock had managed to keep at bay, and captured footage I still cannot believe played out before me.
We were lucky that day. We lost nothing compared to many. The walk through town that night was another surreal experience. One that I think would have been much harder to take without the disconnect offered by looking at it all through my camera. It was a rough night, followed by some extremely rough weeks.
After several instances of flooding over the summer, we were sort of bracing in disbelief that things could or would get this bad. We were desensitized to flood sirens that had sounded their song all summer long, and so that day when all hell broke loose, it took many in town by surprise. A shock that I am not sure has completely worn off of some.
The townsfolk came together in a remarkable and heartwarming show of strength and resolve to pick up the pieces and put them back together again. What seems like tons of mud and debris have been pulled from the creek, the streets, homes and businesses that were impacted that day, while volunteers from all around came to town to help lend us all a hand.
When the hot water returned to our building today, it was a huge step to life getting back to normal. Its powerful spray helping to free my creativity from the stagnant grips that had been holding it back since the flood waters swept through town. In fact, with all that has been going on, this post was the first thing I have written since the flood. And that is more than unusual. So look for a lot more posts to flood our stream as we get caught up here at ACM.
We were slowed by the floodwaters, but not stopped. The footage we shot and shared with the world was used by national news agencies across the country, so that was one sliver of a silver lining we managed to see. But the much stronger memory we will take away from that day (beyond the PTSD that lingers) is the overwhelming support of the community to rise up and come together to help with the devastation. Thanks to everyone for reaching out and checking in.