Although the clouds and rain may have passed, individuals and communities in central Colorado are still dealing with impacts from the recent flooding. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the flooding, especially as dangerous conditions continue in many areas. It may take several days or longer for river levels to crest and begin to recede – which means those in impacted areas should remain vigilant to stay safe.
Here’s a recap of the priorities from today:
- Search and Rescue operations continue, with five teams active in hard-to-reach areas.
- As some residents return home, we’re encouraging them to do so safely by remembering things like:
- Only returning home when local officials say it’s safe to do so
- Avoiding floodwaters while driving or walking – they may be contaminated with chemicals, oil, or sewage.
- Staying away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or local officials
- For those who have evacuated or have not yet been able to return home, we’re encouraging them to connect with family and friends so they know you’re OK. This could mean updating your social networks, sending a text, making a quick phone call, or using the Red Cross Safe and Well site to check in.
We’re also encouraging affected individuals in Adams, Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties to apply for FEMA assistance. President Obama authorized federal aid for individuals and business owners in these counties for things like temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help in the recovery. You can apply for FEMA assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov on your computer or phone, or by calling 800-621-3362. (Disaster survivors who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.)
In addition to what’s happening now, here are the response highlights from the past few days:
- More than 8,200 Colorado disaster survivors have applied for federal assistance. More than $1.8 million has been approved in Individual Assistance, and assistance will continue to increase as flood waters recede and areas become accessible.
- Nearly 400 FEMA personnel are on the ground in Colorado to support response efforts. This includes the following personnel and teams:
- Three Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams going into impacted communities to assist disaster survivors with immediate needs and registering them for assistance.
- Two Incident Management Assistance Teams and a liaison officer on site at the Colorado emergency operations center to coordinate with state and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls impacting disaster response.
- Five federal urban search and rescue teams – Colorado Task Force 1 activated by the state, Missouri Task Force 1, Utah Task Force 1, Nebraska Task Force 1 and Nevada Task Force 1 – to support search and rescue operations in hard hit areas.
- Seven mobile communications office vehicles deployed to Colorado to support state and local response efforts.
- More than 106 housing inspectors to complete inspections of damaged dwellings.
- A FEMA Incident Response Vehicle is in Colorado providing communications support to the emergency operations center for the town of Lyons.
- More than 130,000 liters of water, 110,000 meals and other supplies have been delivered to Incident Support Bases established by FEMA. These resources are being provided to the state as needed and requested.
- At the President’s direction, Administrator Fugate visited Colorado Monday, September 16, to meet with federal, state and local officials about ongoing response and recovery efforts.
Finally, for those looking to help individuals, families, and businesses impacted by the flooding, HelpColoradonow.org is the best place to go. It’s a portal managed by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and has resources on volunteering, donating, and giving through trusted organizations.