Colorado floods close roads, isolate towns

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Monday, September 16, 2013

Four Colorado communities have been isolated by flooding, and the state DOT continues to advise against travel in four counties.

The Colorado Department of Transportation issued an emergency travel advisory for the counties of Boulder, Larimer, Jefferson and Clear Creek heading into the weekend, and those advisories were still in place on Monday, Sept. 16. That means travel on state highways and interstates is not advised except for emergencies. The DOT says that while roadways may appear passable, the saturation may pose dangerous situations or cause unseen damage.

Some portions of roadways have been washed away entirely.

Heavy rain since Sept. 11 has left the communities of Estes Park, Jamestown, Lyons and Nederland cut off and isolated.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued executive orders declaring a state of emergency in 14 counties.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is coordinating all disaster relief efforts following an emergency declaration by President Obama on Sunday. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in Colorado on Monday to discuss the agency’s response to the disaster. Follow FEMA updates at www.fema.gov/blog.

The National Guard is assisting with flood-related missions and helping to enforce laws.

So far, emergency declarations have led to a transfer of $6 million from Colorado’s general fund to the state’s emergency fund. The U.S. Department of transportation sent $5 million in emergency funds on Friday. The state declarations are in effect for 30 days.

Call 511 or visit www.coloradodot.info/ for the latest road updates. Weather conditions, traffic information and estimated travel times are also available at www.cotrip.org.

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