An historical archive of the year of the great flood.

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Last Post

This is the last post of the Jamestown Connect. The website will remain up and available as a historical archive of the first year after the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013.

It was exactly one year ago today, to the minute (5:31 AM), that I published the first post, two days after Nancy and I were evacuated.

Sitting in Kara and Waldy’s house in Longmont (after they rescued Nancy, the pets, and me from the teeth rattling Blackhawk helicopter drop-off and Niwot High School, and put a roof over our heads for six weeks), I kept checking the QT for status and critical information, like how to contact FEMA, or when could I drive back to town in a borrowed car. But it was hard to find facts because there were so many messages scrolling by so fast from concerned friends and family.

I wished I had a resource that gave me just the factual information that we needed. Then it occurred to me that if I needed that then other residents did too.

So I started the Jamestown Connect with the idea that it would only contain immediately useful information for evacuees. Over the months the mission expanded to include:

  • Recovery-related actionable information and announcements of immediate interest
  • Posts of interest to the community that I hoped would help people find some peace, such as Flood Journals and the Shadow posts
  • Posts of better days before the flood to help us remember how it will be again, such as Sunday Reflection
  • With rare exception I did not post pictures of the disaster unless it helped tell a particular story, such as a few before and after photos. (However, I did create the Jamestown Shoebox linked to the site to be a collecting place for disaster and other photos by community photographers.)

Jamestown Connect gained a following, and I appreciate the many nice things that people have said to me about the website. The year’s stats include:

  • 402 posts
  • 36 Sunday Reflections
  • Over 53,000 views
  • Over 300 followers by email
  • Visitors from more than 30 countries
  • Numerous “likes” on Facebook

But the site was always meant to be temporary, as the banner says, “ . . . until we are together again.” Now, a year later, about 90% of the households have returned home. Some will never return.

A year ago I naively thought there will soon come a day when “we’ll be back to normal.” That was before I saw the devastation up close and personal and could comprehend the implications. Now it’s clear that the old normal may never be again. We are evolving to a new normal and I can’t predict what that looks like or when Jamestown will be there.

It may be years before there is a full recovery and the flood is a distant memory. But we have come a long way in a year thanks to the tenacity of Jimbillys and help from FEMA, State of Colorado. Boulder County, Red Cross, United Way, faith-based groups (like the Texas Baptists, Salvation Army,  and Mennonite Disaster Services), and an army of volunteers, to name a few. And last but not least, our hard working and dedicated Town Government. But I think we would have become just another abandoned mountain ghost town were it not for the remarkable leadership of our mayor, Tara Schoedinger.

In the last year we have gone from looking like this:

Jackie on Main Street_DSC1674
to this:

Clearly, we have come a long way. But there is a long way to go.

This is the spirit that will take us there . . .


To stay abreast of important information and the continued recovery, use these resources:

  • the QT
  • Jamestown Newsletters
  • Jamestown web site
  • If you are a resident, make sure you are on the town’s email list. Call the Town Office if you aren’t receiving town emails: 303.449.1806
  • Attend Community Meetings

I’d like to end with this photo of Shadow who has become the symbol of Jamestown’s survival and resilience. As John Hardman said, “Meow-tain Strong!


Regards and thanks for being the most amazing community that I could ever imagine.


Click photo to view.

The Jamestown Labyrinth dedication was yesterday. The winding path of the labyrinths creates a circular pattern, where the circle is a universal symbol representing unity, wholeness and infinity. It is a path with one entrance and a single route that winds in a circular pattern to the center. From the labyrinth’s center point the same path will take you out again. A labyrinth is different from a maze in that there are no wrong turns or dead ends. Thanks Julie and Matt Kolhaas, Deborah Haynes, and everyone else involved for making it happen.






Jamestown Mercantile, September, 1999

Sal DeVincenzo created this video to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. It portrays the people and sites of Jamestown after the flood.

Mark Wischmeyer created this video to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. It portrays a first-hand account of the flood while it was happening through his own videos and photos, and those he collected from the community.

Steve Edelstein created this video to to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. It focuses on the people of Jamestown during and after the flood. It underscores that Jamestown is much more than the physical structures that were ripped away by the flood. Music by Kyle Williams.

Steve Edelstein created this video to to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. As we rebuild or little mountain town, it servers as reminder of the way things were before the flood. Music by Elizabeth Ousley.

September 11th, 2013, the little town of Jamestown was going to sleep.

When all of a sudden there came the thunder, then came the rain.
Then came the roaring that sounded like a train.

The Jamestown Flood was on its way
to making history on this day.

We stood by and watched as things came to pass.
The water, the rocks, the trees and the trash.

For two days and two nights it was like a war zone.
The helicopters taking the people from their homes.

Then things settled down in a day or two
And it seemed as though no one knew what to do.

Then, one morning the town work up to a bright, bright light.
We looked up the road and Oh, what a sight.

There were yellow shirts here and there were yellow shirts there.
There were Southern Baptist men and women everywhere.

They came to town with the one thing in mind,
to clean up the mess the flood left behind.

And clean up they did with smiles on their faces.
Removing the mud and the trash from so many places.

Now and then they would stop to say a prayer
And give thanks to man who was watching from upstairs.

And then it came time for them to go home.
They came down the road in their cars and trucks all shiny with chrome.

We lined both sides of the road to say goodbye
As they drove off, as it into the sky.

(I think that is where they came from to help the little Town of Jamestown)

— Leon Hill —
Jamestown Resident

Thursday, Sept. 12th. Rain grows a beard, becomes the wrathful Old Testament god, or some guy drunk in a bar. He opens his red and black maw and swallows us all up. Outside, there is just flood. Infamous, the Hundred Year Flood, which is really the 500 Year Flood, and some will say the millennial flood. Holy holy!

Read the rest of this entry »

The National Weather Service posted this file of the September flood with statistics, maps, and other interesting information.

Click the image to view.
nws flood

Daily Camera, January 21, 2003

From Rebecca Lawrence, Community Advocate:

It’s been almost a year since the floods affected Jamestown. Commemorative activities have been planned throughout the flood zones all over Colorado including Jamestown.

There is no “right or wrong way” to approach this…no “playbook” to follow. The best thing to do is follow your heart…. your heart knows what you need. Whether it’s:
… join in the activities around town with other community members
… be with friends in Jamestown
… be with friends elsewhere
… be solitary in your favorite spot

Above all (please forgive me when I say this),” be patient” with yourself & those around you. Patience…a word you have grown weary of this past year as the flood recovery has taken longer than many anticipated.

…..please be patient and try not to be judgmental of others for the way they choose to approach the anniversary….be tolerant & compassionate of their approach to the days ahead.

When you were cut off from the rest of the county, it was the united community approach, coupled with diversity and individual talents that brought you out. A lot has been accomplished since then….clean-up…installed water lines…repairs…more people are home…the school is open…there is forward positive motion.

So however you choose “to be” when the 1 year mark rolls around be good to yourself…be good to those around you…give yourself the credit you deserve for the perseverance you have shown.

If I can support you in anyway don’t hesitate to let me know. Please know what an honor it is to be working for Jamestown.

Rebecca Lawrence
Jamestown Community Advocate

tom's place
Tom’s Place, July, 2011

The following information was contributed by Marjo Curgus. Marjo has been engaged by Jamestown to help us, the community, in developing a Jamestown  recovery plan as we transition from immediate response to longer-term thinking. Marjo has created a rich informative and helpful website to support the planning process. I strongly recommend that you take the time to read and check out the web site because the recovery plan will be the town’s recovery roadmap for the next 3 to 5 years. The roadmap will affect everyone and many aspects of community life.



We all love Jamestown for its sense of community, the solitude and quiet, and the natural beauty which all comes with convenient access to Boulder. But the September 11, 2013 flood profoundly impacted us. For the past year, as a Town we have primarily been focused on responding to the disaster by repairing basic functions including homes, the roads, water infrastructure, and the stream. These significant initial project are all nearly complete. Our residents are coming home.

However, even with all this work nearly complete, our community is not yet whole. It is now time for us to make the transition from thinking about disaster response to what it means for us to fully recover. At the end of July, the Town contracted with a consultant to guide a participatory planning process to help us answer this important question and to develop a 3-5 year action plan, the Jamestown Recovery Plan. This project is our opportunity as a community to come together and prioritize actions that will rebuild Jamestown and make it even stronger.

To find out how you can become part of this process, go to the project website:  There are many ways to become involved, but a key component of the planning process are resident committees, the Community Planning Groups (CPGs). Six topical groups are being formed to develop recommendations for action. Residents from the Greater Jamestown Area are being sought to volunteer on these committees. Committees will be formed by the end of September. To find out more about the CPGs, go to the Joining A Community Planning Group on the project website.

Thank you for your help,


barfoot kenny and kether
Kether and Kenny, ca 2000

Denver Post reporter Lindsay Pierce has been covering the aftermath of the Jamestown Flood in a video series from just about Day 1. Lindsay’s latest story was the opening of Jamestown Elementary on Thursday. Featured in the story is Beth Brotherton who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the school opened on time. The community owes Beth a big debt of gratitude.  The Daily Camera also covered the opening,

Click the photo to see the school video and all the other Denver Post videos.


Lindsay Pierce at work.
merc photographer-PSedit_edit

From the University of Colorado:

Participate in a study on recovery from the 2013 Floods

University of Colorado Denver
Research Protocol 14-0029
(April-August 2014)

Was your home or property significantly damaged by the September floods? If so, we would like to talk to you! The purpose of our research study is to collect scientifically sound information on how households are recovering from the floods. The survey is done in-person and takes approximately 45 minutes. Responses are completely confidential.

Study participants will receive a $10 gift card in appreciation of their time.

The study is being conducted by four professors from the University of Colorado Denver: Carrie Makarewicz, Jeremy Nemeth, Andrew Rumbach, and Deborah Thomas.

Who can participate?
Current or former residents of Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties whose homes, rental units, mobile homes or property were significantly damaged by the 2013 floods.

To participate please call 510-962-6674 or email

Old Board-New Board, April, 2000


Rainbow Sign

Tim and Wendy are in Crestone. Instead of seeing their house come down this is what they saw at about the same time.

Today the flood-destroyed houses on Lower Main have started to be demolished. One is down in a pile of rubble as of now (2 PM) with more to follow today and over the next several days. While we knew this day was coming it’s a stark reminder that these were the homes of our friends and neighbors. One home owner told me that they made a last visit to their house the other day and standing in the destruction, tearfully remembered that they started their family there. That’s the bitter part. The sweet part is that of the homeowners I’ve talked, they are all looking forward to what comes next.

No photos are included out of respect.


Jennifer Aieta, the town’s water engineer, was recognized in Denver for her role in getting water restored to Jamestown in record time. Of course she did not act alone but without Jennifer Jamestown would have remained Cistern Vill for a very long time. The citizens of Jamestown are grateful for her tireless efforts at helping us to get back on our feet. Thank you Jennifer and congratulations!

photo 4

Lynn and his Mother IMG_0083

Lynn and his mom. April, 2012


From the Mayor of Jamestown:

Hi All,

With the progress we’ve made on the repairs to the water treatment plant and the distribution system, we’re ready to allow people to begin watering lawns and gardens again. This will help us to process more water through the new filters. Please share this information with your neighbors.

Until you are notified we are still on a Boil Water Advisory.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Tara Schoedinger

From the Jamestown Town Hall, Erika:

We’ll be giving an update on:

  • Water and Roads Projects
  • PPDR (Private Property Debris Removal)
  • Flood Anniversary Planning
  • MDS Updates
  • Long Term Planning process – We’ll meet Marjo, our new consultant!

…and so much more.

Hope to see you there!

welcome to jimtownJamestown resident Sylvia Welner is having a book signing at the Merc on Friday for her soon-to-be-published book “Welcome to Jimtown”. Sylvia is generously DONATING  100% OF HER PROFIT TO REBUILD JAMESTOWN. Come’on out and support Sylvia, support the Merc, and support Jamestown.

Where: The Merc
When: Friday, August 8, at 6 PM

The book is Welcome to Jimtown: Where the Animals Mean Funny Business. Yes, it takes place in and around the wilderness area of our town—especially the Merc! It’s fiction for young adult readers and up. It’s funny and it’s mostly about the wilderness animals, with the main character being Burnee the Bear.

The popular musician Matty G. from West Virginia will also be on hand to entertain on the guitar with special songs that go along with the stories from Sylvia’s book.

Jan's Birthday
Jan’s Birthday, 2001

From Nina Andaloro:

To commemorate the anniversary of the September 2013 flood, Jamestown will host several events for the community to come together to reflect on the event and to imagine our collective future.

On Friday, September 12th we will host an art exhibition in the town hall for any resident of the greater Jamestown Community to share a flood inspired work with the community. Works can include but are not limited to painting, sculpture, writing, film, photography. Musicians, storytellers and performance artists are encouraged to sign-up for an open mic night on Saturday at the Merc.

We invite you to consider displaying your work to inspire and share with the community during this momentous time. In order to participate, you MUST register in advance, by August 23rd so that we can reserve a space for your work. Please contact Nina for more information or to reserve a space 303-449-1806.

Thank you!

Trick question

Why did the old Jamestown water mains leak like a sieve on Main Street and there is great optimism about the new mains

Hint photos by Mark Wischmeyer.



September 2010

From the Mayor of Jamestown:


This is to inform everyone that Duran and the Town need to close Main St through Town next week in order to repair service lines.

Main Street Closed (15th to Ward St)
Monday 7/28 – Friday 8/1
8:30am – 4:30pm
Expect delays outside of these hours

As we repair the drinking water distribution system in Town, we are required to meet current codes and standards which require the water main and curb valves to be 7 feet deep.  The old mains and valves were 5 feet deep at the most.  In order to restore function of the water system we are required to lower the ends of the private service lines to meet the new depth of the water main.  9 of the 22 water service lines on Main St are on the opposite side of the street from the water main.  For these 9 service lines Duran will need to dig a trench across the entire road which requires the road to be completely closed.

Duran is working closely with Boulder County Sheriff, Boulder County Transportation, Boulder County Transportation Communication, Left Hand Fire Protection District and Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department to ensure all agencies are aware of the closure.  Electronic signs will be placed at the bottom of Left Hand Canyon, Lee Hill Rd, James Canyon and the top of the switchbacks on Overland Rd.  Duran will continue to have traffic control in Town. This will NOT impact emergency services for anywhere in the Canyon or above.

Duran is working as hard as they can and will try to complete this work early.  Please be advised that if any issues are encountered it could extend the required closure.  Duran has run into unanticipated issues throughout this project such as radon, hydrocarbons and water that were not expected and required special mitigation procedures.  We appreciate how difficult this has been for everyone and we appreciate everyone’s patience during the Town’s recovery process.

Please call the Town Hall (303) 449-1806 or me if you have any questions.

Tara Schoedinger

From Boulder County:

Flood-impacted residents may be eligible for CDBG-DR funding

Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County has been awarded a first-round sum of more than $5 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This money is to be used to help eligible homeowners impacted by the 2013 Flood who need financial assistance witheligible projects including home repairs (septic and well systems and individual driveways, bridges, and culverts) and temporary rental assistance.

“This funding could help about 200 of the most vulnerable households in Boulder County that are still struggling to recover from the damage done by the flood,” said Boulder County Commissioner Deb Gardner. “While this round of support is limited and has strict eligibility requirements, it’s a step in the right direction and we’re optimistic we’ll get more of this funding in the future.”

Read the rest of this entry »

From Erika Archer, Town of Jamestown:

County Road 94 (CR94) Public Input Meeting
CR94 includes: James Canyon, Mill St, Main St, Overland Rd
Wednesday, July 23 at 5:30
Town Hall, Jamestown

Please come share with us your ideas on what we should consider as the engineers begin to design the permanent repairs for CR94. Boulder County Transportation will also provide an update on the temporary paving project that the County plans to begin later this summer.


  • Introductions:
    • Boulder County
    • ECOM
  • Overlay Project
    •  Emergency/Temporary Plan
    • Permanent Plan CR 94
    • Resident input

5:30 – 7:30 pm, The Merc, Jamestown

The Neighbors, 1998

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