Riding on the coattails of intense drought, the flood of September 2013 impacted the Colorado Front Range in a significant way. Two of the hardest hit areas were the St. Vrain and Left Hand watersheds in northern Boulder County. While many areas in northern Colorado were subjected to high volumes of water, the St. Vrain and Left Hand basins were deluged by immense amounts of both water and debris, resulting in millions of dollars of damage and devastation to numerous towns, agricultural lands, and open spaces along each riparian corridor. The ecosystems and hydrologies of each watershed were also heavily impacted by the flood. The image to the right shows one of the breached retaining walls of a District reservoir, Lake No.4, located on the South Branch of the St. Vrain.

Short-term recovery efforts came from multiple directions and focused on quickly and efficiently returning the impacted areas to productive, functional, and livable conditions. Beginning in mid-2014, stakeholders in both watersheds began master planning processes to guide long-term recovery efforts in the St. Vrain and Left Hand basins, while also making the areas more resilient to future disasters.

The St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District has worked tirelessly toward recovery efforts, connecting flood victims, flood aid, and critical resources. The District has also striven to fulfill its mission of protecting and extending water rights through guidance and consultation of constituents in the St. Vrain and Left Hand basins, participation in planning and master planning coalitions, and management of a ditch and reservoir damage and recovery database (for Water District 5).

Join the District’s email mailing list and stay up to date on recovery updates, master planning activities, and funding opportunities for the St. Vrain and Left Hand River basins.
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Maps & GIS Files

Copeland Lake Aerial (post 2013 flood)
Lake No. 4 Aerial (post 2013 flood)
Boulder County – Ditch and Reservoir Map
Fish Passage Inclusion: Diversion Structures along St. Vrain Creek
More maps available here.


Summer 2014 issue of Headwaters
Report: 2013 Flood Ditch and Reservoir Damage and Recovery
Executive Summary: 2013 Ditch and Reservoir Flood Damage and Recovery


Flood Photos


Post-Flood 2013/Pre-Runoff 2014 Video Foootage

Master Plans

St. Vrain Master Plan
Left Hand Master Plan

Additional Resources

Emergency Kit Information
Boulder County Flood Information
Boulder Office of Emergency Management
City of Longmont Emergency Management