Local volunteer lends a hand with Colorado flood

Written by Vince Costello; vince3vince1International Services Director (Ret); American Red Cross Volunteer

I am deployed in Colorado for the response to the Colorado Flood. I arrived Wednesday,Sept 18 and for the first week and traveled throughout the entire affected area with another Mental Health Worker. We were charged with identifying possible locations throughout the affected area for Emergency Aid Stations, (EAS).

Following that, Sept 23rd I was assigned to the Northern District based in Ft. Collins, CO. After arriving in Ft Collins I was assigned to Estes Park Colorado to serve as the Disaster Mental Health Lead. The normal travel time from Ft. Collins to Estes Park was about 1 hour. Now though because of the flooding the 2 main routes US Rt. 34 and 36 are closed with as many as 12 sections of the roads are “gone”. This resulted in having to drive via Bolder CO, up into the Rockies on a paved road which quickly turned into a gravel road (Sunshine Canyon) which was a 2 lane “road” traversing portions of the Rocky Mountains sometimes with only one lane usable. The total time took 4 hours getting to Estes Park.

Much of the area surrounding Estes Park is still not accessible by car and only accessible to resident by hiking into their homes if their homes still exist. We have already had Snow here which is obviously going to impact the repair of roads. One of the 2 roads from Estes Park into the valley they hope will not be passible until December 1 at the earliest.


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