Left Hand Creek in Ward September 13, 2013
Left Hand Creek in Ward September 13, 2013 becomes a raging torrent a mile downstream. Photo credit Karelle Scharff
Runoff feeding into the "headwaters" of Left Hand Creek in Ward
Runoff feeding into the “headwaters” of Left Hand Creek in Ward Sept 13, 2013. Photo Credit Karelle Scharff


Ward is fine. We’re at 9100+ feet altitude so we’re at the top of the flood.We’ve seen more water in our little branch of Left Hand Creek than even in the middle of the biggest snowmelt + thunderstorm. And even at that we experienced NOTHING compared to the horror that happened in Jamestown, Lyons and Salina and dozens of other communities in our little corner of the world. Our thoughts are with our fellow mountain communities that have been hammered by fire and now flood, and with communities, farms, families, ranches on the plains that are under water.

It’s times like this when all of us in Ward (and the “suburbs”) come out of the woodwork, I’ve met a whole new group of people I’d never met. We’ve helped each other with food, generators, sump pumps, batteries, you name it. We will be there to help our neighboring communities pick up their pieces too.

Left Hand Canyon above Rowena looking uphill. Photo credit Fred Morse.
Left Hand Canyon above Rowena looking uphill. Photo credit Fred Morse.

We are still stranded right now – every access to the plains is cut off except Clear Creek Canyon, 50 miles to the south, and that puts you in Golden, still 25 miles from Boulder. It’s going to be a while, months maybe, before our lovely Left Hand Canyon is drivable again. Nederland police estimate at least a month before Boulder Canyon is open again. All this is complicated by the imminent winter, with the first snows expected in just about a month.

I’ve been participating in Emergency Planning for over a year and while it’s been a pretty effective process, it’s clear that it never occurred to ANYONE that something this extreme could happen. I mean  how does one prepare for this?

Foothills Flood Relief fund

As a reminder: Foothills United Way has established a Fund for the victims of this flood.  The name of the fund is the Foothills Flood Relief Fund and that money will be used for housing and human services and will ALL stay local in our communities…just like our long term recovery fund for the fire.  Please do share this URL:  or go to and follow the links to donate.  PLEASE DO SHARE THIS INFO WITH ALL OF YOUR GROUPS!

2.)  2-1-1 has been activated.  If you know of anyone that has any questions about evacuation sites, routes, donations, road closures etc. they can call 2-1-1 in the Boulder area to get help.

7 Responses to Reassurance

  1. I have a close friend who’s son lives in Ward….want you to know my heart and thoughts are with you all…I live in Boston so we know about adversity….you will be okay…its amazing how humans rise to the occasion….I have heard that your little mountain town is fabulous and this website proves it…..Good Luck and know you have people all over sending you good thoughts….Camilla

    • Thanks Camilla,

      Our community is not fazed by much, and we are incredibly lucky to be at 9100 feet – at the top of the drainage. We’re cut off – every canyon access to mountain communities for 100 miles is cut off by destroyed roads, and Left Hand Canyon is no exception. However most of us stock plenty of emergency supplies, we have our own water supply, we share pretty well, and though the phones are out the power and internet are still on. We’re good. Thanks for the good thoughts – every little bit helps.

      • Am glad to read ‘Reassurance’. I’ve been trying to get through to my cousin Carol L for several days without success. Did talk to Leif though. As high as a you are, I was pretty sure flooding was not your issue but am concerned about being cut off from resources and what FEMA and the other emergency providers are able to do to help Ward.

        Thanks so much for publishing this information about Ward. Wish there was something we could do.

        • I just saw Carol, um, yesterday (Coco attacked me in the PO, LOL). If/when I see her again, I’ll tell her to get in touch with you. Flooding really didn’t affect us, as you thought, but for a while we were pretty thoroughly cut off – no phone, no way out, except Clear Creek Canyon 50 miles south. We did have power and internet – thus all the posted information. FEMA was in town today and many registered. Public transit is happening to cope with all the closures and we’re doing pretty well.

          If you want to make a contribution I’m going to publish a bunch of the sites accepting donations to go to flood victims (as soon as I can find the email with the info), but for sure there is

          And just your words of support are a comfort. Thanks

          • Thank you Claudia. Thanks also for the link. Having communication is a major tool you have been lucky to have. When I didn’t get a fast busy signal I got one of two messages: circuits were overloaded or down.

            I think all you would have to do is tell Carol a cousin was in trying to reach her and she would know who it was. Its nice to know someone cares and takes the time to check in. I seem to be the one to check in on everyone in one way or another.

            I know there is a page for Ward of some kind on Facebook. It might be a great way to get info out to more people about anything. I wonder if it could help with the Post Office preservation. I was just lucky to come across this website. After several searches over the years for Ward CO anything, this showed up for the first time the other night.
            Take care and thank you for the link,

  2. So glad to hear that you are OK up there. It will be a struggle for the next several month but you will prevail.