All Flood Damaged Highways To Reopened By Thanksgiving
On Thursday, November 21, Governor Hickenlooper, Estes Park Mayor Pinkham and other dignitaries and residents gathered to celebrate the reopening of Highway 34 that connects Estes Park to Loveland. Our very own Mayor Pinkham and Mayor of Loveland Cecil Gutierrez celebrated the opening with a great big hug symbolizing the coming together of the two communities once again.
The weather at the event was bitter cold and it was snowing but that did not deter the happy spirit that prevailed at the ceremony as Gov. Hickenlooper, the Mayors and others joined to paint the final stripes down the middle of Highway 34 which was destroyed as a result of our September flood.
With the opening of U.S. 34 and Tuesday’s opening of State Highway 7, all highways damaged by the September flooding will reopen days ahead of the Dec. 1 goal.
“The united effort of the Colorado Department of Transportation and its road repair partners has been remarkable,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “After the flooding, we faced the daunting task of restoring 485 miles of damaged or destroyed highways. CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, the National Guard and local governments have worked round the clock to reconnect Colorado communities.”
SH 7 between Lyons and Allenspark reopened at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26. This was the last of the 27 highways damaged or destroyed to reopen.
Even as roadways open, workers from Office of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies continue to collaborate to address the needs of Coloradans impacted by the flooding. Specifically:
Of the 18,000 people forced to leave their homes due to the flooding, 24 families remain in temporary housing while more permanent solutions can be found.
As of Nov. 18, FEMA had approved $54.4 million in Individual Assistance—helping more than 15,600 Coloradans impacted by the flooding. Individual Assistance provides grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other needs. People eligible for assistance need to submit applications before the Dec. 2 deadline via www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
As of Nov. 18, the FEMA Public Assistance program had committed $16.7 million for flood recovery projects such as debris removal, emergency protective measures and repair of public-owned infrastructure in the 20 counties eligible for Public Assistance. Deadline for applications is Nov. 30.
As of Nov. 18, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) had approved $71.2 million in low-interest disaster loans to 1,491 homeowners and 198 businesses. SBA loans are available for businesses, homeowners, renters and nonprofit organizations that have experienced physical or economic injury due to the flooding. Deadline for applications is Dec. 2.
National Flood Insurance payments of $43.5 million have been provided to more than 1,500 claims.
More than 3,000 flood survivors have received counseling services and another 24,000 have received crisis support information through eight Community Mental Health Centers that received a Crisis Counseling Program Grant to provide group and individual crisis counseling to people impacted by the flood.