Town Information Update, Sept 17
Estes Park Public Information Office
Tuesday, September 17
Estes Park agencies continue to focus on life safety priorities and assessing conditions related to public safety as well as public resources. Current priorities are assessing the safety of structures and letting evacuees return to properties when possible, as well as increasing access to Estes Park. As a community, we need some time to get back on our feet. We’ve been working around the clock with our local partners to make repairs and find temporary solutions to the incredible damage sustained by some of our critical infrastructure. It goes against everything we believe in to discourage visitors to be in Estes Park. But that has been our message during the rescue and response mode. We’ll make no apologies for the fact that our first priority is keeping our neighbors safe. We’re still working on that, and we ache for our friends who have experienced great losses. Still, our sights are also set on recovery and we are determined to move forward.
We want you to know that we intend to welcome visitors back to the community as soon as possible. When roads are safe and our situation has stabilized a little more, we’re going to do that. It cannot be too soon. Many businesses are still open, and others intend to reopen very soon.
No significant injuries or missing people have been reported in the Estes Valley at this time.
EVACUATION AREAS AND CENTERS
○ 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, effective immediately, has been moved from Mountain View Bible Fellowship to 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.
○ Small animals may now also be taken to Animal Hospital of the Rockies (Animal House), located at 453 Pine River Lane.
○ Be aware of scams; don’t hesitate to ask for identification if someone comes to your home.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP
○ 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.
○ Volunteer and other assistance offers may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a volunteer committee of community partners working to set up operations to utilize the offers we’ve already received. They are hoping to be open 7 days a week and are working to be up and running by Wednesday. Stay tuned for contact information.
○ The Town is working with other agencies and local businesses to evaluate public resources including fuel and food. Fuel, food and other supplies are coming into Estes Park.
○ Most ATMs should be working and available to withdraw funds.
○ From the U.S. Postal Service:
Estes Park residents’ mail is being held at the Grand Lake Post Office and we hope to see our local Post Office reopen very soon. Please note that USPS is picking up outgoing mail from the blue boxes, but not cluster boxes.
○ Anyone who needs emergency medication should visit the Conference Center evacuation center with copy of driver’s license by 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday to have staff pick them up. No other mail can be collected.
○ UPS is planning to resume deliveries to Estes Park today and FedEx is hoping for tomorrow.
BUILDING SAFETY: RE-ENTRY CAUTION
o 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.
o Rapid assessment teams are reviewing structure conditions along the flood plain downtown, Fall River and Big Thompson drainages. Please wait for further information and do not risk your safety by entering those structures. Placards posted on doors will indicate the safety of the assessed structures. Police will ultimately allow access back to the area before anyone should try to access the structures.
o The Town is working to revise the flood plain mapping to help regulate those areas since it has changed.
o Larimer County Health will join assessment teams to examine food and beverage establishments for health evaluation.
o Additional technical assistance is arriving to assist in these efforts.
o Once evacuees are able to return to homes and businesses, they should read safety and recovery resources available www.estes.org and www.larimer.org/health/emergency/
o 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.
○ 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 essential traffic. East bound traffic will only consist of community residents, family members of community residents providing support, emergency services and delivery trucks. Estes Park community’s infrastructure is overwhelmed due to the magnitude of this historic flood event. The limited resources must be focused on response and recovery. No visitors to the area will be allowed to travel east bound on Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park, even those with advance plans and reservations in the community. 90-feet is the vehicle length limit and there is no weight limit. The Park is otherwise closed to the public.
○ HIGHWAY 7
○ The use of Highway 7 to enter Estes Park is still restricted by the National Guard to Estes Valley residents or family arriving to assist them, people who work in Estes Park, supply deliveries and emergency services, as well as visitors exiting Estes Park. Those visitors will not be allowed to return during these conditions. Rumors that this has changed are incorrect. We are working with our partners to see that the road can be opened as soon as infrastructure stability allows.
○ There are no boil orders in place for any of Estes Park. The boil order was lifted for the neighborhoods around Fish Creek that previously received the order from our staff.
○ Some properties along Fish Creek will continue to be without water until that can be restored.
○ Other areas are fully 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.
○ Elkhorn Avenue is now open
○ The Town is working to open roads downtown as quickly as possible The Town will begin cleaning up the Riverwalk tomorrow.
○ The Town is working on a plan for debris management.
○ Public Works crews are working around the clock to evaluate and clear public infrastructure.
○ 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.
○ Sand bag materials are no longer available to the public.
○ 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.
○ 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, as well as in the Lone Pine area.
○ The Estes Park Sanitation District and Upper Thompson Sanitation District plants are now running.
○ Waste Management had to pull the roll-offs throughout Town because they weren’t being used for essential trash. The Town is providing a roll-off at the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride off Manford Avenue. House hold trash can now only be delivered to the fairgrounds via the Community Drive gate Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. No flood debris will be accepted. You must check in at the gate.
○ Waste Management began working to restore 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 is on to approximately 50 residences in Glen Haven approximately one mile south of downtown Glen Haven. Larimer County is assisting with access.
○ Town of Estes Park utility bills will be delayed in going out, and there will be a grace period on payments.
PHONES, INTERNET AND CABLE
○ Cellular services are restored to limited capacity. Please restrict use to necessity — text data will be best to ensure towers can accommodate use. Do not send videos or photos. This is critical for emergency services’ ability to use the service.
○ Century Link has restored landline phone service in Estes Park. Landline 9-1-1 has been restored locally, so working landlines should be able to call 9-1-1.
○ Airbits is providing free public WiFi at Stanley Village, Appenzell Inn on Big Thompson Ave., Mountain View Bible/Evac Center, and downtown. No Password required. Summitview Coffee on Moraine is also providing free wi-fi at their location as are many other businesses. The Town has free WiFi at Town Hall and the Estes Park Visitor Center. Computers and internet are available at the Estes Valley Library.
o The American Red Cross Safe and Well website should be used to find someone or post information about your location for your family and friends. Visit www.safeandwell.org. Due to extreme volume of requests, responding agencies and the local Red Cross volunteers cannot manage this and ask that citizens use this website to contact one another. Register today!
o DO NOT call the evacuation centers as facility phones are not public lines and evacuation center staff is limited to a degree that they cannot add this to their responsibilities.
○ Estes Park Schools will open next week as usual 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.
○ Autumn Gold has been canceled for September 21-22. At this time we are evaluating other scheduled events for consideration of cancellation or rescheduling.
○ Please check on your neighbors as we are unable to do welfare checks with limited staff and resources.
○ Stay out of flood water – it can be contaminated with sewage.
○ Stay current on your tetanus shot. Family Medical Clinic at EPMC is available during business hours.
○ DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH WATER OR PASS ROAD BLOCKS – You are putting your life and those of emergency responders at risk if you do.
○ If you feel unsafe at your home, trust your instincts and go to the shelter.
○ All residents in low-lying areas are asked to be on alert for rising water. Be prepared to evacuate if needed.
○ The Estes Park Town Board met at 12 noon Sept 12. to ratify a disaster declaration for Estes Park.
○ The Bureau of Reclamation reports that dams are safe, both Olympus and Mary’s Lake are holding up well, as is the Alva Adams Tunnel.
○ We cannot provide water damage information for specific addresses. Please be patient. There is also no estimate for repairs to roads at this time.
● The next Community Meeting will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 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 email@example.com. 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. Streaming has not been working for some viewers due to extreme demand. 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. Members of the media are encouraged to use and air this video feed to help us share information.
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
○ 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 will be open for regular business this coming week. 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.