Laser Technology Rolls Up Its Sleeves to Help Repair Colorado Flood Damage

by mphippen 30. September 2013 13:19

CompassTools, an Authorized Dealer of Laser Technology, has established “Compass4Colorado” a collaborative effort to make high-tech GIS and mapping capabilities available at no or low cost to organizations involved in recovery actions related to the devastating Colorado floods. Laser Technology has joined CompassTools in the effort to help expedite the massive repairs facing CDOT (Colorado Dept. of Transportation) due to the recent flooding in the state.

Flooding in Colorado (Photo: Cliff Grassmick, AP)

In a recent press release announcing the program, W. Brant Howard, Founder and Chairman of CompassTools, states "We believe that geospatial technologies, especially mobile field data collection, can help this assessment phase proceed more quickly and accurately so the impacted communities can rebuild sooner."

As part of the program, Laser Technology will be supporting CompassTools' efforts by supplying TruPulse 360 lasers as needed.The TruPulse 360 laser rangefinder can integrate with GPS to enhance the data collection to workflow. This allows users to collect data from a safe & convenient location at the flood damaged areas. Free flood-mapping webinars and/or workshops will be offered starting in October.

Below is a quick overview of what we're dealing with in Colorado --

You'd have to be living in a cave not to have heard about the devastating floods that affected 17 counties; cutting a north-south swath affecting 4,500 square miles, roughly the size of the state of Connecticut! While it will take several months to assess the total damage, here's what CDOT tells us:

The Big Thompson River exceeded record flood stage for 60 hours. In Boulder, the Boulder Creek was running at 54 Cubic Feet per Second (cfs) last Monday, Sept. 9. By the height of the flood Thursday night, it was running at 5,000 cfs!

Statewide, 12,118 people were under mandatory evacuation orders. The biggest airlift operation since hurricane Katrina helped evacuate more than 1,000 residents in remote mountain towns that had been completely cut off due to washed-out roads. Fourteen shelters housed nearly 500 people.

Initial figures from the Colorado Office of Emergency Management say that 1,502 residential structures were destroyed and 17,494 were damaged. Those totals are almost certain to rise.

It's harder to quantify how many roads and bridges have been damaged or completely washed away. Again according to the CDOT, at least 30 bridges were completely destroyed and another 20 seriously damaged in the flood. Having said that though, those figures refer to state-maintained bridges, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has said that the number of destroyed bridges is more likely between 80 and 100.

No figures have been given yet regarding the miles of roadway damaged, but most routes leading from Boulder into the mountains are now cut off, and lengthy sections of major canyon roads – including US 34 and 36, Colorado 7, 14, 72, and 119 – have been shut down for the foreseeable future.

Laser Technology is proud to be part of this collaborative effort. Should you know of or are already contracted by CDOT to engage in the repair processes, please contact us for information regarding training schedules and/or webinars or additional information to better facilitate this program.

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