Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Comfort Food Morning

If you have never heard of Longmont, Colorado....I am quite certain after these past 72 hours, you have definitely heard of it by now.  The Front Range and most of Northern Colorado has witnessed immeasurable devastation by terrifying rains, floods and mud slides from Fort Collins all the way to Colorado Springs.

It all started on Wednesday morning on September 11th.  I work in Boulder and we were seeing the typical rains, but this time it felt different and it was not letting up.  The roof in my office was starting to leak and there were no signs of clear sky anywhere.

The next day at 4:30 in the morning, the school district notified everyone that school would be closed due to excessive rains and immediate flood warnings.  I went ahead on to Boulder just to make sure our offices were okay and to get our computers out before the inevitable storm.  As I came into the city limits the mud slides in neighborhoods had already begun.  After a couple hours at work, we were hearing another 7 inches would be coming down - time to head back home before it was too late.
Zweck's Farm around the corner from our house - this is how we usually see it.
As I came off the highway on to the main road that goes to our house I could see the flashing lights...not a good sign.  I saw some water on the road, but had no idea what was about to take place. I quickly took the detour to the next main road.  Again, more lights, but I was just barely able to get through before they closed that road down also.  I looked over and saw the St. Vrain "Creek", now look like whitewater rapids and at street level, ready to make the jump across the main road.
Zweck's (the same farm as above) on Thursday afternoon, September 12th.
When I returned home our cell phones and television were in constant EAS (Emergency Alert System) mode and warnings were going off every hour regarding flash flood watch.  The early afternoon dark skies and rains came around.  We started to hear the fire trucks and police sirens whirling all around us and getting louder.  They were coming from every direction and then we started seeing them drive through our neighborhood one after the other.
The quiet little "creek"  running through our neighborhood is now 10 feet in depth.
We put on our rain gear and walked down the street to see what was happening.  I had remembered about the small creek that runs through there and immediately thought perhaps someone got caught in the ever increasing water and was being rescued, you know in your heart at that point something terrible had just happened...I prayed that a child was not hurt.

When we came upon the adjoining neighborhood we had no idea what had just happened.  We walked up to the area that had been completely taken over by once  a creek, now a 1 mile wide raging river.  All the streets were covered in water up to the top of garage doors of every house.  Residents were running as fast as they could to get out with their families, pets and whatever they could immediately grab... they had no warning whatsoever. There were 3 fire engines, divers, boats, sheriff and local police department units surrounding the area.
The amazing rescue teams in our neighborhood and the flooded streets.
The sky was dark, rain was engulfing everyone and I stood there in shock of the devastation we witnessed.  We saw rescuers in boats and divers looking for people in need.  Just then the loudest horn I have ever heard went off. At that moment I see a large fire engine pulling out from a house half way engulfed in the moving water.  This engine had just rescued a woman, her children and dog.  They pulled them out in the most amazing rescue I have every seen.  In your lifetime, you see these "Hollywood rescues" on t.v. shows and in movies, but you are never prepared to see the real thing happening before your eyes.  I have all the utmost respect for these natural disaster survivors and the emergency crews that save lives everyday.

We returned home in our soaked clothes and no electricity.  By this time, our girls are starting to panic a little.  We went into emergency preparedness: candles, flashlights, pack overnight clothes, snacks, drinks, and getting the truck ready in the event we had to evacuate.  All we could do at this point was wait it out and be as best prepared as possible.  A few hours passed and power came back on in the house.  The rains never let up that night, but thank God we were high enough that the water stayed away.
My guardian Theo, looking out for more emergency units this morning.
Today is much quieter, although it is a beautifully sunny morning we have heard emergency flood alerts and the forecast is more rain tomorrow.  The city is still divided in half by the river, but it is slowly starting to recede.  Now the ever daunting task of debris clean-up begins.  This whole experience certainly puts a person's life in perspective.  Only God knows what tomorrow will bring, but for now I knew my family and I could use a comforting breakfast to calm the nerves of the past few days.

I made a coffee cake, husband cooked the bacon to perfection and my daughter made her always flawless and fluffy scrambled eggs.  We enjoyed it with our orange juice in freezer chilled glasses and just took in the beginnings of a sunny and tranquil day.  It was not a fancy breakfast or fit for the cover of a foody magazine, but for now it certainly hit the spot.

Streusel Coffee Cake
2 Cups Original Bisquick Mix
2/3 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbl. Granulated Sugar
1 Egg

1/3 Cup Original Bisquick Mix
1/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbl. Butter (room temperature)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch round pan.  Make streusel and set aside.

Stir remaining ingredients until blended.  Spread in pan.  Sprinkle with streusel.

Bake 18 - 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy with melted butter drizzled on top to soak in each slice.

Count your blessings each and every day....


  1. We are thinking of you. Glad to hear you are safe and dry. Missing you lots.

  2. Thanks for such a descriptive narration of the events affecting your lives the last few days. Nothing like coffee cake and family fixin's to make the day a little brighter. Our prayers are with you, your friends and neighbors.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.