In our previous blog, we went down a laundry list of natural disasters that Colorado doesn’t have to worry about. After all, live far enough away from the coast and you’ll never have to worry about hurricanes or tsunamis. Build your home on solid bedrock and landslides aren’t a problem. Live far enough from major tectonic plates and earthquakes won’t bother you nearly as much. These are restoration services that RESCON pretty much never has to deal with.
In the end, almost all of our disaster restoration comes down to human-caused fires and the water used to put it out. This week we’re going to take a look at some of the natural disasters that will occasionally cause the need for fire and water restoration here in Colorado.
Colorado’s Natural Disasters That Cause The Need For Home Restoration
When most people think of Colorado, the Front Range is what comes to mind. And then they think about being in the mountains themselves. These thoughts ignore the fact that half the state is still part of the Great Plains!
When most people think of tornados, they tend to think of our neighbor Kansas (averaging about a hundred a year), when it fact it’s Texas that has the most Tornados (averaging more than 150). As it turns out, Colorado has a surprisingly large amount of tornadoes each year, around 53.
So why don’t we hear about them? You can probably guess it’s because eastern Colorado is so sparsely populated. In fact, there have been over 2,000 tornadoes in Colorado since 1950. Most of them come and go without the average person hearing about them, but every so often there will be a big one like the one in Windsor in 2008. There was also an EF3 tornado that hit Denver on June 15, 1988. You might be surprised to know that tornadoes can occur in the mountains, but conditions aren’t as conducive to tornado formation as they are on the plains. You might also be surprised to hear that tornados hit large cities, and it actually happens fairly frequently.
What does that mean for a company performing home restoration? Here in Colorado, not much, considering how few populated areas there are once you get out on the eastern plains. But when a tornado does hit a city like Windsor, we’re ready to handle any restoration services needed.
The floods that make the most news in the US often involve one of two scenarios: levies break near the ocean, or one of the country’s major rivers floods its banks.
Here in Colorado, we’re far away from the ocean. (That’s the understatement of the blog). It’s also pretty obvious that we don’t have the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers flowing through our backyards, so heavy rains upstream aren’t going to cause the rivers to rise and attempt to reclaim the floodplains.
What we do have in Colorado are the biggest “funnels” in the country: the mountains! All of that water falling on the mountains during a storm is being funneled on either side of the Continental Divide. Most of the time mountain thunderstorms simply add to the water from snowmelt, but when there’s a huge storm in the mountains, or an extended series of storms, things can get messy.
The most recent floodings of note in Colorado were the Longmont / Loveland floods of September, 2013. The St. Vrain and Big Thompson river filled to overflowing, flooding many homes that were normally out of reach of the floodwaters. So when it comes to water damage restoration, many of our jobs come from instances like these 500-year floods.
For most people reading this, wildfires won't be a problem for the simple reason that wildfires don’t affect large cities. The populations of Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo dwarf the population of people living in homes that would be susceptible to wildfires.
Since 2000, more than 1,000 homes have been lost to wildfires, while many others have required fire damage restoration from companies such as RESCON. To learn more about wildfires, read this article we wrote about the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history.
There is always the chance of an avalanche when you’re in the mountains. Still, the number of deaths isn’t high; each year approximately 30 people die in avalanches, and that’s for the entirety of the United States. Colorado accounts for about five of those deaths each year.
Those who die in avalanches are usually caught up in them during recreation: skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling. Homes are almost never involved in avalanches, for the simple reason that avalanches tend to recur on the same mountain faces. We know how avalanche-prone material accumulates and where, so if you avoid constructing homes under those places you’re much less likely to get a dwelling caught in one.
What would a home requiring avalanche restoration look like? There would certainly be water damage restoration as the snow melted, as well as exterior damage to gutters, windows, and siding. If the avalanche was strong enough, foundation repair could be necessary.
In some major cities you can look out your window and see an active volcano, or at least one that’s known to erupt at regular intervals. Those people are definitely in danger of an eruption in the near future, whether it means a little bit of ash on their roofs or the entire city being destroyed.
Of course, the Rockies weren’t built by volcanic activity. And active volcanos in the United States are mostly found in the Northwest and Hawaii, right? Well, this won’t come as a shock to those who watch the Discovery Channel, but Denver is actually nine hour’s drive away from the largest volcano in the world, aka Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park sits atop a supervolcano, and by some estimates it’s overdue for an eruption. A small eruption wouldn’t affect us here in Colorado, but a super-eruption would shoot enough ash into the air to block out the sun and cause worldwide crop failure and famine. So, should you worry about it? Well, if it happens, you’ll have a lot more to worry about than home restoration!
When you look over the last two blogs, there’s a lot that can go wrong in the world when it comes to natural disasters. Colorado, luckily, isn’t susceptible to many of them on a mass scale. But when something does go wrong — whether it’s water damage restoration needed from an overflowing river or a broken pipe — RESCON is there for you. Contact us when you need the best in home restoration!