Donald Hutchinson, ‘13, a freshman at University of Colorado, Boulder, won’t forget making the lacrosse team. Chances are he won’t forget the lightning that canceled one of the final tryouts either.
Boulder is in the midst of the terrible flooding in Colorado. Though the flooding has subsided, the effects of the torrential rain and rushing waters have turned Colorado upside down, especially Boulder and Laramie Counties. Eight people have died. And almost 600 are still unaccounted for.
Colorado has received over 17 inches of rain in the past week—slightly less than the average yearly rainfall.
But for Donald the storms have been more of an adventure than a tragedy.
“It was pouring and he loved it,” Hutchinson’s father, Don, said. It had been very warm in Colorado, so “the pitter patter of the rain on the window” was a welcome relief from the heat.
“Good sleeping weather,” his father said.
Mr. Hutchinson added that there is a big field on the campus where and his friends went sliding on the wet grass after the rain.
At the beginning of the storm, Donald said his friends and family were naturally worried.
“I had a bunch of people call me,” he said.
However, Donald wasn’t there when they called.
A siren reserved for natural disasters rang throughout the campus all night on Sept. 11, and classes were canceled from Sept. 11-13. (Only the cafeteria and dorms were open.)
Consequently, Donald and his friends left campus from Sept. 12-15 and “were happily in a tent” camping at Lake Powell in Arizona, Mr. Hutchinson said.
He tried calling his son repeatedly, only to get no answer because Donald didn’t have cellphone service in Arizona.
Even though Donald was safe, the campus suffered significant damage, he said.
Many of the hall basements were flooded, as was an underpass that students use to get to class. A creek on the edge of the campus was raging with water and. “you couldn’t see the bridges or the bike path,” Donald said.
He didn’t have to evacuate his dorm since he lives on the third floor. But those living in the basement were not so lucky.
Fraternity members and other people living off campus were also less fortunate.
“Their houses are just destroyed,” Donald said.
Now classes are back in session and the buildings have reopened.
“Everything’s back to normal, at least for me,” Donald said.
(Featured Image is used with permission of Creative Commons)