|By John Aguilar, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The run-up to a holiday weekend typically finds the
But on the Friday evening of
Not a soul in sight. No one outside the bar, or in.
"I'm still dealing with what happened a year ago," Whyard sighed.
A year ago. A mad stretch of mid-September during which the heavens opened up and, in five interminable days, dropped nearly a year's worth of precipitation on parts of the
Rivers crested their banks, gushing torrents ate away road- beds, and water poured, spilled and seeped into thousands of
All told, damage from last September's floods reached a staggering
"This is the largest disaster that
That recovery process is in full swing a year after the deluge, and it's a story filled with both invigorating successes and daunting challenges.
Major flood-damaged roads were reopened by a Gov.
But the long-term effects of the disaster are inescapable, whether it's the
"We're focused on building back stronger, better," said
"It never even crossed my mind that the river would come up that high," said
More important, his
Sutorius managed to get
They moved to north
It's not pretty, but it bears the hallmarks of a family making the place as much their own as possible -- a hodgepodge of donated furniture, a flatscreen TV bought for them by family and friends, and their children's paintings on the wall.
"I don't know where we would be right now if
Even so, the family doesn't want to be on the receiving end of emergency aid for much longer. They plan to move into a rental house in
"We're getting there,"
The Sutorius family is one of 21 families still living in
"We'd be done otherwise"
"Many people probably said, 'I'm not in a high flood risk area,' and didn't have it," she said. "
Just 24,000 individuals and businesses in
That was true for
Rozek didn't qualify for direct
"We'd be done otherwise," he said.
Rozek has managed to reopen his showroom after a foot of water from the swollen St. Vrain closed it for six months. It is now 90 percent rebuilt, he said, and clients once again can browse his products.
The loan to Concept32 is one of 2,519 such loans made to
"Often we're the only option to cover damages that are uninsured," said
Funding takes time
Long term has become a familiar time peg for those recovering from natural disasters, and that holds true for one of the biggest sources of post-flood funding in
PHOTOS: 2013 floods, then and now
Eighty percent of the money, awarded by the federal government in three installments, is targeted at the counties most severely affected by the flooding --
But the money may take time arriving. So far, the
It submitted an action plan to HUD for the second installment of
But he said communities need not worry the money won't come their way.
"There's no question that all of it will be expended," he said.
In the meantime, some communities are moving forward on their own to raise funds to make repairs and put in place improved flood control measures.
The county is anticipating a bill of
Her group, formed in December and based in
"The need is still out there, and it would be great to raise more funds and recruit more volunteers," Walton said.
Sales taxes up in
"Just the damage on the roads keeps people from coming up," Zimmerman said. "A lot of people thought we were completely washed away."
He remarked on how quiet the town felt on the eve of
"It's Friday -- this store should be full," said Zimmerman, noting the carpet that never got replaced after getting drenched in the store. "It's dead."
Despite the woes of businesses like Lithium and Mountain Munchies, sales tax revenues in
"What we've found is that some of the large businesses have weathered the storm but some of the smaller businesses are finding it more difficult," Nicholas said.
Additional help is on the way to
"We're much further along and in much better shape than I'd ever guessed," Nicholas said.
And with the willingness people show to come together to build a better place, post-flood.
"In the long term, what is the resiliency of the community?" Shields asked.
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