By Stan Friedman
LONGMONT, CO (September 13, 2013) — The trailer home of one senior adult who attends Life House Covenant Church probably has been destroyed by the flashfloods that have raged through the front range of Colorado, but pastors in the region say they are unaware of any other Covenanters who lost their houses or were injured.
The Life House member was evacuated ahead of the flooding, said Life House Pastor Win Jackson Houwen. The trailer park is close to a creek that flowed over a bridge that normally has a 20-foot clearance.
“I think when they are allowed back in, they will find that her home has been destroyed,” Houwen said. “We’re going to do what we can to rally around her.”
Left-Hand Creek swelled to within half a block of the Life House church building, she added. “I can hear the babbling water, and you can’t ever do that.” To see map of how close church normally is to Left-Hand Creek.
Doug White, pastor of New Day Covenant Church in Boulder, said some members of his church live in the mountains but were unable to drive down because roads had been washed out. One couple had been up all night digging trenches so the water would flow around their house, but they still had water in their basement.
Water also flooded White’s basement. Until earlier today, water also had surrounded his house. Roughly one-third of a mile down the road, authorities were rescuing a family that was told earlier in the week to stay in their home rather than try to make it through the floodwaters that had surrounded their house. They had to be rescued because the waters continued to rise.
Also nearby, water was flowing through the neighborhood, White said. “There’s never been water running here before.”
The church only had one minor leak, White said.
Houwen’s home is located safely above the flood stage, and she watched St. Vrain Creek rise and surge. “There’s this kind of dreadful awe,” she said. “It was deeply disturbing.”
In 1997, Houwen attended another denomination’s large youth conference at Colorado State University in Fort Collins when a flash flood slammed into the school. “We were stranded in Moby Arena for a night. I thought that was a lot of water then, but it was nothing like this. “I’ve never in my life seen such water.” (The Covenant held its CHIC youth event there the following week.)
Houwen said she and other Coloradans were excited when the rain had started on Monday because the area had suffered through a drought. And then it kept coming throughout the week.
“I never thought I’d say this living in Colorado, but I’m sick of the rain,” Houwen said.