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Flooding Update – Wednesday, Sept. 18


Estes Park Public Information Office-Flooding Update

Wednesday, September 18

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Current priorities are assessing the safety of buildings and infrastructure, doing everything we can to allow for evacuees to return to properties when possible, as well as increasing access to Estes Park. We’ve come a long way in 6 days! Downtown roads have reopened, building safety and infrastructure assessments done and literally tons of debris and mud have been removed to make this possible.

Law enforcement officials would like to remind everyone to be aware that we can have no more ATV’s or speeding; enforcement is underway. If there are any reports of looting and scams they will be responded to as quickly as possible in accessible areas. No significant injuries or missing people have been reported in the Estes Valley at this time.

EVACUATION AREAS, ACCESS AND SHELTERING

A temporary one-lane bridge for passenger vehicles (no heavy equipment!) has been constructed between Little Valley and Rambling Drive over what used to be Fish Creek Road. Roads in Little Valley are still under repair. We are looking into how to provide this solution to other neighborhoods along Fish Creek.

David Drive off of Fall River is open to one lane now; evacuations are lifted on that area.

Evacuation areas include low-lying properties around Fish Creek and the neighborhoods to the east of the road, and neighborhoods all rivers from the U.S. 34/36 intersection west through town and west down the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers in Estes Park. Also evacuated is the Highway 66 corridor beyond Aspen Brook/Dunraven Inn.

The evacuation shelter is located at the Estes Park Conference Center at 101 South Saint Vrain Avenue. Information updates, phones, television and internet will be available at the Conference Center for evacuees. Activities for children are available at the Conference Center as well.

Large animals should go to the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park and small animals to Animal Medical Center or the Animal Hospital of the Rockies (Animal House).

Be aware of scams; don’t hesitate to ask for identification if someone comes to your home.

SUPPORT AND RECOVERY

Business support and listings are available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/epfloodrecovery

A Disaster Assistance Center will be established at the Conference Center for numerous resources related to flood recover. We hope to open and provide you with more information by this weekend.

○ Register with FEMA for potential disaster assistance, if you sustained loss or damage due to the flooding. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or register at www.disasterassistance.gov

A special flood relief fund is now set up through Crossroads Ministry to receive and disperse funds for local flood victims. Visit www.crossroadsministryofEP.org to donate; designate donation for flood relief. To date $5,500 has been raised.

The Volunteer Clearinghouse is open beginning today from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. You can begin utilizing their email immediately, which is vch@estes.org. Please begin using this in lieu of info@estes.org for offers of support and requests for volunteers.

○ They have two lines set up as follows:

If you are looking to volunteer please call 970-577-3974

If you need help and are looking FOR a volunteer please call 970-577-3975

RESOURCE UPDATES

From the U.S. Postal Service:

○ The Estes Park Post Office is now open and delivering mail to accessible areas. Please be patient while they try to catch up from the delay over the last several days. If you live in area that is not accessible, the Post Office will hold your mail and you may contact them to provide instruction on how you would like to retrieve it. You can also go to www.usps.com and select the “manage my mail” banner to change your address or you can call them directly at 970-586-0170. Drop service from FedEx and UPS isn’t running through USPS yet. Allenspark Post Office is open; Glen Haven and Drake mail is in Loveland.

UPS and FedEx have resumed deliveries to accessible areas.

BUILDING SAFETY: RE-ENTRY CAUTION

Even if you do not see water damage and structural problems, it can still be there. It is critical for your safety that you not attempt to reenter evacuated areas without further information. This will be provided as it becomes

available.

Rapid assessment teams will be finished reviewing structures in the Estes Valley by tomorrow. They have received help from all over the country. Placards posted on doors will indicate the safety of the assessed structures. In evacuated areas, law enforcement will ultimately allow access back to the area before anyone should try to access the structures.

Once evacuees are able to return to homes and businesses, they should read safety and recovery resources available at http://larimer.org/flooding2013/

The Town’s dedicated line for building safety inspection information is 970-577-3722. Please call if you have building safety concerns about your property.

You must work with the Building Safety Division to acquire a flood plain work permit. This is critical as in order to maintain flood insurance for policy holders in Estes Park, the Town must comply with regulations.

Larimer County Health will join assessment teams to examine food and beverage establishments for health evaluation.

The Town is working to revise the flood plain mapping to help regulate those areas since it has changed.

TRAVEL

All downtown roads have been opened and are accessible.

Devil’s Gulch Road is closed approximately one mile east past the Gem Lake Trail head due to road failure.

Highways U.S. 34, U.S. 36, C.R. 43 are closed by the managing agencies.

The shuttle to Denver will continue through Friday, sign up at the evacuation center by 11:00 a.m. each day with a trip leaving at 2:00 p.m. The shuttle will only drop at 2 locations near the Denver Airport, to be determined. Hotel reservations and further transportation will need to be made by those requesting the service.

TRAIL RIDGE ROAD/RMNP The National Park Service confirms that Trail Ridge Road is currently open through RMNP for all through traffic to and from Estes Park. Other limitations on Park use and access are available at www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/flood_alert.htm

HIGHWAY 7

○ Highway 7 is now open to all traffic without restrictions. Please restrict travel as much as possible to allow road crews to be able to continue making repairs.

WATER

There are no boil orders in place for any of Estes Park.

Some properties along Fish Creek will continue to be without water until that can be restored.

The Water Division is taking quality samples throughout Town to ensure water quality and safety.

The bulk water dispenser is available on Fourth Street – Visit Town Hall to set up a prepaid account.

Town of Estes Park utility bills will be delayed in going out, and there will be a grace period on payments.

PUBLIC WORKS

The Riverwalk is in very good shape, being cleaned, and we hope to reopen it by the weekend.

The Town is working on a plan for debris management.

Many roads have suffered severe damage. Engineering efforts currently include where and how to create temporary bridges and egress for the affected areas before winter so that we can provide as much access as possible.

SANITATION

Upper Thompson Sanitation District has established a “NO FLUSH” zone for many neighborhoods on public sewer system from U.S. 36 south to Kiowa Trail and Little Valley. See map at www.facebook.com/TownofEstesParkCO to see if your neighborhood is included. The area inside the line on the map is the sewer outage “NO FLUSH” zone until further notice. Sewer lines in this area are draining directly into the watershed until they can be repaired. Residents and businesses within this area should not flush toilets or limit flushing as much as possible. Use toilets elsewhere if possible! Gray water like showers, sinks and laundry is more acceptable, but please limit to what is absolutely necessary. Residents in all other areas in Estes Park on public sewer lines are able to resume normal use of the toilets and other drains. UPPER THOMPSON SANITATION: 970-586-4544

A new “NO FLUSH” zone has been added to the western Fall River area. Upper Thompson Sanitation District has gone door-to-door to provide information to these properties. UPPER THOMPSON SANITATION: 970-586-4544

Due to the “NO FLUSH” zone, Port-A-Potties have been delivered to areas along the Fish Creek drainage for those in in the No Flush zones (at the streets that intersect with Fish Creek). Additional units will be delivered as soon as available to affected areas. Stay tuned for a map under development.

The Town is providing a roll-off at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds. House hold trash can now only be delivered to the fairgrounds via the Community Drive gate today and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. No flood debris will be accepted. Residents must check in at the gate via Community Drive.

Waste Management, Doering and Atlas have resumed normal trash pickup schedules throughout the community where infrastructure is safely passable.

LIGHT AND POWER

Crews are responding to power outages as quickly as possible. Power outages should be reported to 970-586-5335.

Power brief outage yesterday was due to a chipmunk at the substation — no relation to flood issues. (The chipmunk survived.)

RUMOR: The Town is not planning to turn off utilities to force evacuations.

Power is on to approximately 50 residences in Glen Haven approximately one mile south of downtown Glen Haven. Larimer County is assisting with access.

SCHOOL

○ Estes Park Schools are open during the week but will not hold classes. Students may be taken to the school for care and feeding during the days. They are not required to attend but the schools want to be available as a resource. Buses will not run.

RECREATION/EVENTS

Autumn Gold has been canceled for September 21-22. At this time we are evaluating other scheduled events for consideration of cancellation or rescheduling.

Find information on Estes Valley Recreation and Park District programs and facilities at www.evrpd.com

COMMUNITY MEETINGS

We will have a Community Meetings each day at 10 a.m. at least through Friday, September 20 at the Town Hall Board Room. Spanish translation will be available at this meeting.

This meeting will be streamed live at www.estes.org/videos and viewers may send questions to info@estes.org. Overflow attendees will be asked to watch the meeting at the Estes Valley Library. We will answer as many questions as possible that benefit the audience overall. Specific questions will be answered by email.

The meetings are replayed throughout the day and posted for watching later at www.estes.org/videos. They are also aired live and replayed on local cable Channel 12 and Channel 8.

MORE INFORMATION SOURCES

Sign up to receive emergency notifications on your cell phone, text and email at leta911.org.

Town’s information/call center provides recorded information and live staff at 970-577-3716 from 8 a.m. until 5

p.m. until further notice.

Information updates available at www.facebook.com/townofestesparkco and www.twitter.com/townofestespark These pages can be used just like websites — you don’t have to have an account.

Information updates will also be posted at Town Hall west entrance to board room, Estes Park Visitor Center, National Park Village at Beaver Point, and the evacuation center at the Estes Park Conference Center.

Spanish-language materials are being posted daily to www.facebook.com/townofestesparkco as well as posted at the above locations.

For information regarding flooding in Larimer County (including Pinewood Springs, Big Thompson Canyon and Glen Haven) you must call 970-498-5500. Visit www.larimer.org and follow them at www.twitter.com/LarimerCounty Non-emergency inquiries can be made to 970-416-1985.

Contact Boulder County Emergency Management for issues along Highway 7 outside Estes Park including those related to Allenspark. Please call 303-441-3390.

TOWN HALL OPEN THIS WEEK

○ Town Hall is open for regular business during regular hours. However, please use the information sources above for flood-related questions and concerns, as we are striving to resume operations at Town Hall with limited staff.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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