Navigating The Waters Of Recovery
It’s hard to believe I’m already writing another column on emergency response and recovery. In my first 16 months as Town Administrator, I’ve been with you through two wildfires and a flood of historic proportions. We are incredibly fortunate that there were no lives lost in the Estes Valley. Although the rescues are complete, we’re still working to get everyone access to their homes and restore critical infrastructure. Within seven days we sent teams to inspect 3,000 structures in the valley to be sure they are safe, and we’re working to turn any yellow cards on your properties to green cards. The community’s teamwork and momentum in response to this disaster has been remarkable. Hundreds of volunteers have taken to the streets to help neighbors. I have every expectation that we will continue to work as a team through the long process of recovery.
Recovery is a broad term. It means coming to terms with the damage around us It means listening to frustrations and understanding the effects of trauma It means finding emotional and physical support, someone to lean on It means cleaning up our homes and businesses It means rebuilding what we lost It means restoring public infrastructure It means stabilizing our livelihoods, small businesses and overall local economy
It means tapping into our investments to ride out the storm It means getting our kids back to the security of their routines It means reducing our anxiety a little more every day and sleeping a little better each night It means eventually waking up to a stronger home, business and community.
Every day more resources flow into town to help us achieve recovery. Combined with all of our local partners, the agencies gathering at the Recovery and Assistance Centers at the Estes Park Conference Center will assist in our recovery, in all the ways I’ve mentioned above. It won’t happen overnight. For rebuilding, it could be months or years. But look what was accomplished in just one week after the flood? I have complete confidence that we will together create a new normal and a sustainable near future for Estes Park.
We have a plan to restore the Fish Creek corridor to a structure that will support the utilities we need water, sewer, gas and electric. The State of Colorado is determined to reconnect us to the Front Range on the state highways before winter. Our county, state and federal elected officials are behind us for every resource we request. No matter how much you lost in the flood, know that the community will navigate the recovery process together.