Home and business owners affected by the epic flooding that took place in Colorado last week are facing the grim task of cleaning up and recovering. Colorado communities that were cut off for days by the massive flooding started to slowly reopen, revealing cabins toppled, homes knocked off their foundations and businesses filled with thick, brown flood water. Anxious home and business owners hurried to begin the cleanup work by removing what was salvageable as rescue teams took advantage of the better weather on Monday to continue airlifting stranded residents.
The good news out of all this is that the worst of the historic rainfall is most likely over in northern Colorado even though some light rains may fall early this week. The fast moving, mud-filled water has been deadly as at least eight people are confirmed dead. Over 600 more are still unaccounted for. Small business owners affected by the flooding were hoping they had flood insurance as they were surveying the damages Monday. Some business owners were lucky while others experienced devastation as the flooding caused them to lose precious inventory, documents and computers.
The first glimpse of how huge the impact was of this flooding was provided by emergency officials on Monday. It was estimated that around 1500 homes were destroyed while 17,500 received some type of damage.
Even business owners who were not directly affected by the flooding will feel its effects. For instance, in the small town of Lyons which was completely cut-off from the rest of the world by flooding, business owners there were forced to shut down. Elsewhere, evacuation orders have hurt small businesses as their customers simply cannot get to them. Business owners and homeowners were being warned to watch for scam artists who come knocking, promising to help in exchange for cash. People were being advised not to hire anyone who can’t prove their credentials and that legitimate flood damage services don’t send people knocking door to door.
Because there were many major roads washed away, small communities like Glen Haven were so badly affected that there’s nothing much left besides debris. Plus, important infrastructures like gas lines and sewer systems were completely destroyed meaning that hundreds of homes in just one area of that community could be uninhabitable and unreachable for up to a year. On Monday, the Office of Emergency Management urged people stranded by floodwater who couldn’t communicate by telephone to signal helicopters overhead with sheets, flares or mirrors.