by Heather Chappell
The water has receded and we have been able to get in, assess the damage, begin clean-up and ultimately, open for business. We have received so many phone calls and emails from concerned customers, checking in on us to make sure we are here and to inquire into the well-being of our staff. We can’t thank you enough for your support and well wishes. Our staff have experienced varying degrees of trouble related to the flood, but ALL are well, and that is what we care about most!
Our story started with a crawfish! One lonely crawfish made its way from the creek, about 30 feet, to the back door of our potting shed on Thursday morning, September 12th, 2013. Looking back now the little mud-bug seemed to be making the effort to sound the call for us. Our Production Manager, Brendan Anderson, found the creature and returned him to the creek, wondering, “What does he know that I don’t?” Turns out, a lot! By mid-morning on Thursday Dry Creek, that runs through our property, had risen quite a bit and by mid-afternoon the Poudre River, that we back up to, was running extremely high, fast and muddy. There appeared to be a lot of debris from the fires washing down the river at that time. We decided to move as much heavy material from the back of our property onto higher ground to avoid it getting carried out into the river, causing possible blockages to the bridge at Timberline and bigger issues for our neighbors along Mulberry and the town as a whole, should the flooding take place. We moved plants and benches away from the bridges, put electronics up on desks and tables in our offices and then our owner, Jesse Eastman, made the call, “that’s it now, everyone needs to get your things and get home to safety, we have done all that we can.”
Friday morning brought the news that we were flooded and that the nursery could not open. Jesse made it out here and took pictures, which he posted to our Facebook page. We were heart sick to see the damage, knowing the only thing to do was to wait.
By Saturday we were able to get in to the nursery. We roped off areas, opened for business and got busy cleaning up. Saturday was spent helping customers who came by, assessing the damage, moving more plants out of harm’s way, cleaning up areas we could get to and preparing for round two, should the flood waters rise again. We made a makeshift lunchroom in our classroom area as the employee lunchroom was flooded.
Sunday dawned with…. MORE RAIN! Jesse decided that given the ongoing flood risk and poor conditions, we would be closed on Sunday.
The rain began to slow, Monday came, and with it eventually sunshine. We brought in equipment and materials to begin filling in and re-grading areas that were swept away and begin putting order back to the nursery. As of this post, we still have areas closed off to the public and cannot predict how long it will take to have all areas re-opened. Although some areas are not open to the public, plants are still accessible to employees and we have many trees, shrubs and plants that are accessible to the public.
Finally, we want to acknowledge the unwavering fortitude and strength of our staff! Without their commitment and love for the nursery, we would not be where we are, only 2 days out from the flooding. They have worked tirelessly, both day and night, throughout these trying days to take care of areas that could be reached and get the nursery back to the place that you have come to love as well.
Thank you all so much for the offers of help and support. The best thing you can do for us right now is to come out to see us and shop with us. We are here, we are open and as always we are committed to serving you and helping you green up your life!
Originally published on September 18th, 2013. Updated on December 5th, 2014.