Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

2013 Flood Recovery
Flood Recovery imagery for banner image

2013 Flood Recovery

The 2013 Flood resulted in extensive damage to residential and business property, as well as to Boulder County roads, bridges, creeks, and open space. Long-term recovery efforts are beginning to wind down ten years after the damage occurred. View some of our project pages linked here to take a look at how Boulder County has responded to this historic disaster.

Email or Text Updates

Sign up to receive Boulder County flood recovery information and news via email or text message. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Explore a Historic Flood Story Map

View a story map below that was a joint effort between Boulder County and the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District. Explore the 2013 Flood impacts as well as other floods in the state’s history.

Building Back Better

Recovering from the 2013 Flood is a multi-year commitment for Boulder County, the municipalities, and our community as a whole. Boulder County is committed to building back stronger and more resilient than before.

Flood Buyout Program

One program that Boulder County administered in the wake of the 2013 Flood is the Buyout Program. This program purchased flood damaged properties that may have a threat of future danger and turned the property into undeveloped land in perpetuity. Boulder County acquired 45 properties from landowners who wanted to sell their damaged properties (view map of properties). The acquisition process began in 2015 and continued through 2017. The primary funding came from two sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). Boulder County and the State of Colorado worked together to provide the required 25% match.

As required by the federal grant programs, all existing structures were demolished to return the properties to vacant land. They must remain vacant and undeveloped, and their uses are limited. Parks & Open Space is stewarding the open space properties to conserve and protect natural resources on these properties.

Please contact the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to report trespassing, burglary, loitering, camping, or requests for increased patrols.

Please contact Megan Green, 303-678-6079, for questions about the management of buyout properties.

Ownership Status and Transfers of Ownership

In September 2018, the Boulder County Commissioners assigned management responsibility for new strips of road right-of-way to what is now the county’s Public Works department. The Commissioners assigned the 45 properties to the Parks & Open Space department for management. Parks & Open Space absorbed 14 properties into the county’s open space program, transferred 5 to open space partner entities, offered 10 in the Apple Valley area to Lyons, and has now offered the remaining 16 for transfer to new owners. Six of those 16 can only be transferred to qualified organizations because they were FEMA-funded. All are subject to deed restrictions requiring the properties to be used only for uses compatible with open space. The other 10 properties were purchased with CDBG-DR funds and can be transferred to private parties for uses compatible with open space.

Parks & Open Space is accepting applications for the 16 potential Flood Buyout Properties and has provided interested parties with more information on the process and how to apply. Applications are being accepted through June 30, 2024.

Flood Recovery Assistance Funds

Federal grant money was administered by the county to help hundreds of Boulder County residents pay for a variety of flood recovery projects.

Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center (FRPIC)

As part of the effort to assist unincorporated Boulder County property owners and residents in the most efficient manner, Boulder County set up a Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center in downtown Boulder to house staff from multiple departments in one central location. The Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center is no longer open, please contact with questions.

The Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center was staffed by functional experts in septic systems, floodplain management, private roads, culverts & bridges, private bridge replacement, home buyout options, and other hazard mitigation programs to assist those impacted. The Center was open for five years after the flood and helped hundreds of county residents recover after the devastating 2013 Flood. This model of combining services was helpful not only for the impacted residents to get services in a single location, but also for staff who needed to work cross-departmentally on many difficult issues.

Boulder County plans to use this model in future disasters as well to rebuild and restore the community while implementing measures to protect public safety and investments through hazard mitigation and avoidance. Staff at the county is committed to understanding the needs and issues of residents who are facing complex issues to restore their homes, property and lives.