Flood Recovery Community Updates -Eight Months Later
Rebuilding has been steady, but slow. Countless volunteers have spent hours pulling debris out of streams, replacing culverts, rebuilding roads, and mucking out buildings. There is rejoicing for those few residents who were able to move back home last month. Reliable electricity, improved phone coverage, and some temporary roads for propane to reach the homes closest to County Road 43 have helped. For many, however, the wait to return continues.
The people of Glen Haven have maximized the minimal funding they have received to address as many issues as possible; but miles of unpassable roads and many severely damaged homes and structures still need attention. If you have a heart for Glen Haven, you can contribute to the Glen Haven Area Fire Department, P.O. Box 53, Glen Haven, Colorado 80532, or come by any weekend and drop a donation in the boot. You can see first-hand the devastation, meet some positive, committed volunteers, and be inspired!
Big Elk Meadows:
This small, private community located off of Highway 36 between Estes Park and Lyons, has seen a lot of visitors in recent months. These visitors have come from all over the country just to serve – from college students performing selfless service on their spring break to church groups being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. The residents of Big Elk Meadows have welcomed these visitors with open arms and have loved each and every one of them. There’s a new saying for these visitors when they leave…..“You’ve been BEM’d.” In short, it means that the visitors are now considered a part of the Big Elk Meadows family. Neither the residents nor the visitors will ever be the same. Jim Murphy, a resident of Big Elk Meadows, commented about these visitors that often end up as volunteers, “Most of our volunteers are kids and I love working with them. They come with a positive attitude, so much energy, and they just work. They are encouraging to all and inspirational to me.” Jim has been out of his home since September and hopes to able to return by May 17. Donations can be sent to the Volunteer Fire Department of Big Elk Meadows, P.O. Box 3790, Estes Park, Colorado 80517.
Like every other community in the Estes Valley, the independent spirit of the people here is evident. In the face of this disaster neighbors have come together to rebuild their community. They did a lot on their own, but the help of volunteers has been invaluable. They, too, are clearing debris and reconstructing damaged homes and you can help by getting involved in the fundraiser below.
Increased requests and dwindling funds characterize the state of the Crossroads Disaster Relief Fund. As of May 5, $383,317 has been received through grants and individual donations to address the needs of flood victims. Of this amount, $304,169 has been allocated to individuals, after interviews with case managers, and only $79,148 remains. The 720 assists provided are comprised of 332 debris removal assists, 156 household assists (generators, water tanks, mold remediation supplies, repairs, etc.), 140 rent and mortgage assists, 45 utility assists, 27 transportation assists, 17 medical assists, and 3 laundry assists. Donations to continue this outreach to those devastated by the flood are still being accepted at Crossroads Ministry, P.O. Box 3616, Estes Park, Colorado 80517. Please note ‘Flood Relief Fund’ on your check.
Estes Park Mountain Outreach:
Mountain Outreach supports the community through provision of educational, community outreach, and crisis counseling services. Informational round table meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month from 5:30-6:30 pm at 1218 Graves Ave. The actual entrance is located upstairs, on the back left hand side of the building. If you have ADA issues, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance. Tip of the month: During this stressful time, take a walk in the sunshine, call a friend and laugh once a day.
Assist Work Teams:
Work teams are constantly being organized for each of these communities, as well as for projects within the town of Estes Park. Find out how you can be a help and an encouragement to those still rebuilding by contacting the Assist Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.