Colorado governor says flood-damaged highways to reopen by Thanksgiving

By Land Line staff | Thursday, November 21, 2013

The governor of Colorado expects all state highways damaged by massive flooding in September to reopen by Thanksgiving Day.

Gov. John Hickenlooper made his announcement via press release Wednesday, ahead of today’s reopening of U.S. 34 between Estes Park and Loveland. The state plans to reopen State Highway 7, between Lyons and Allenspark on Nov. 26, days ahead of the Dec. 1 goal.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, the state patrol, National Guard, and local communities have repaired 485 miles of damaged or destroyed highways after unprecedented flooding began the week of Sept. 9. Eight people died and six more remain unaccounted for as record and near-record precipitation poured down on 17 counties along the state’s Front Range.

The release also stated that of the 18,000 people forced to leave their homes due to the flooding, 24 families remain in temporary housing while more permanent solutions can be found.

As of Nov. 18, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had approved $54.4 million in Individual Assistance for more than 15,600 residents impacted by the flooding. Individual Assistance provides grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other needs. Those eligible for assistance need to submit applications before the Dec. 2 deadline via www.disasterassistance.gov.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program has committed $16.7 million for flood recovery projects such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repair of public-owned infrastructure in the 20 counties eligible for Public Assistance. The deadline for applications is Nov. 30. More information about the program is here.

The U.S. Small Business Administration had approved $71.2 million in low-interest disaster loans to 1,491 homeowners and 198 businesses. SBA loans are available for businesses, homeowners, renters and nonprofit organizations that have experienced physical or economic injury due to the flooding. Deadline for applications is Dec. 2. More information about SBA loans for disaster victims is available here.

More information about the state’s plans for flood recovery can be found at the website, ColoradoUnited.com.

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