Emergency Information Providers Wind Down, as Rebuilding Begins

This Larimer County Sheriff's photo shows highway destruction on U.S. 36 just north of Pinewood Springs.

This Larimer County Sheriff’s photo shows highway destruction on U.S. 36 just north of Pinewood Springs.

Last Thursday marked the end of the regular flood emergency updates sent out by Larimer County. The county’s Joint Information Center noted that operations had entered the recovery phase, but that it would it continue to publish information on occasion, as needed.

The updates have been a steady, unifying compendium of all things pertinent to the massive, widespread flood damage – from current road closure information, to community meetings, to disaster assistance, to tips on avoiding scams, to practical advice about approaching one’s flooded out home. If the door is stuck at the bottom, for example, it can be forced open. But if it’s stuck at the top, it could mean that the ceiling is ready to cave in. In other changes, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office took over road checkpoints manned until last week by the Colorado National Guard.

Larimer County Sheriff's Twitter feed

Larimer County Sheriff’s Twitter feed

The final update made note that anyone wishing to pass a checkpoint will be required to have a sheriff-issued residential credential. Anyone caught behind a checkpoint without a credential will be cited. The sheriff’s posse will be patrolling on horseback where roads have been washed away.

Even with the residential pass, the final bulletin noted, several communities are not accessible by normal vehicles. Hiking, horseback or, in some cases, all terrain vehicles are the only means of travel. Pinewood Springs, on washed-out U.S. 36 between Lyons and Estes Park, to cite one such listing, is accessible to residents only by foot.

Each of the heavily impacted counties – certainly including Boulder and Weld – did a similarly strong job of communicating with residents, offering tips on everything from rebuilding to dealing with a flooded-over garden to replacing that soggy marriage license. One could subscribe to the information or check it out on Facebook or Twitter.

The emergency information providers were just one component, of course, to a robust, tireless and compassionate response from many levels to the flooding catastrophe.

Here’s a shout-out from one subscriber, I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS, to all of the emergency information providers as their role ends and the serious rebuilding begins.

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