(Message from Monday, Sept. 16)
By Deputy Administrator Richard Serino
As we are all well aware, the State of Colorado has experienced historic flooding over the past several days as the result of heavy rainfall. The flooding has caused massive destruction and forced thousands of residents in counties near the Boulder-Denver metro area to evacuate their homes. Initial estimates indicate that several thousand homes have been damaged or destroyed. The President declared a major disaster in Colorado over the weekend and authorized Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the affected area, including the availability of Federal funds for affected individuals in Boulder County.
The President called Governor John Hickenlooper last night to receive an update on the situation in Colorado and expressed his concern for the citizens impacted by the flooding and condolences to the families and friends who lost a loved one. The President also commended the first responders working tirelessly to save lives and protect the Colorado communities. At the President's direction, the Administrator is in Colorado today to ensure the federal government is closely coordinating with the state and local response.
We have all been working hard and FEMA is actively supporting the ongoing response and recovery efforts of the state. We have deployed personnel, including two Incident Management Assistance Teams and additional staff at the Colorado emergency operations center. Three federal urban search and rescue teams, Colorado Task Force 1 (deployed as a state resource), Utah Task Force 1 and Nebraska Task Force 1, are on the ground to support search and rescue operations in flooded and isolated areas. Two additional federal urban search and rescue teams, Nevada Task Force 1 and Missouri Task Force 1, are expected to arrive in Colorado today; and three more federal urban search and rescue teams have been placed on alert.
FEMA proactively staged commodities closer to the hardest hit areas and areas potentially affected by the flooding. More than 65,000 liters of water, 22,000 meals and other supplies are on site and available to the state as needed and requested. A FEMA Incident Response Vehicle is in Colorado providing communications support to the emergency operations center for the town of Lyons. FEMA has several hundred employees en route to support the ongoing response and recovery efforts, including Disaster Survivors Assistance Teams. The National Response Coordination Center was activated to a level II over the weekend to coordinate support for this incident, and deactivated last night as the center of gravity shifts clearly to the Colorado Initial Operating Facility in Denver.
Please stay safe during this time of heightened operations.
Thank you for your continued support.