Naropa University, closed due to Boulder flooding, issues statement

At least 15 inches of rain and resultant flash flooding have been responsible for three known fatalities and the evacuation of thousands from inundated central Colorado towns, some of which are now entirely cut off by the raging waters. One of the most severely affected is Boulder, long a center for Buddhist study and practice in America since Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche founded Vajradhatu (now Shambhala) and Naropa University there in the early 1970s.

With a flash flood warning still in effect in Boulder until this evening, Naropa closed operations yesterday and will remain closed today. Naropa officals issued the following statement regarding damage to its facilities and the safety of its students, faculty, and staff:

“We have made the decision to close Naropa again tomorrow, September 13, due to the extremely dangerous conditions of flooding in and around the Boulder area.

“We are currently and continuously assessing the effects of the flooding in Boulder on our various Naropa properties and campuses. Thus far, there are some reports of water damage reported on Naropa property, but at this point we have not discovered structural damage. After the flood, it will only require some time for some clean-up and repair.

“However, we believe it is imperative to note the severity of the flooding in Boulder. This continues to be an emergency situation, and we encourage you to be safe and take every precaution. Do not approach areas of standing water for any reason, and please keep the roads clear and open for emergency vehicles. Please do not venture onto the roads, and if at all possible, stay inside.

“The many creeks within Boulder present a high risk of flash flooding.  If you are outdoors and caught in a flash flood, climb to higher ground immediately.  Do not walk or drive into water because there is no way of knowing how deep or swiftly moving it may be.  If water accumulates near you, move on foot to a safe location.  If you have little warning, move to the highest floor in your building.

“Because the stories of flooding have been reported in the national news, we encourage you to reach out to friends and family to reassure them that you are safe.

“For emergency alerts, we encourage you to monitor the Boulder Office of Emergency Management website at www.boulderoem.com.  For more information regarding Naropa’s status, use www.naropa.edu.

“Finally, we urge yet again, use caution in this severe weather situation.  We will continue to monitor the situation at each of our locations.”

For a more personal view of the flooding, including video, see “Drowning in Boulder” at Elephant Journal. Also see photos and video of the flooding at the University of Colorado, Boulder.