Government and People at Their Best

The floods of 2013 were historic and devastating. It will take years and a lot of treasure to put right what Mother Nature rearranged.


Rescue operations are winding down and relief and recovery are now underway. I participated in a couple of sessions last week focused on getting the highway infrastructure rebuilt. State officials including the Governor’s office and the Department of transportation along with key federal agencies like FEMA, the SBA, Federal Transportation Administration were still assessing the damage and the needs and planning to get federal emergency dollars flowing as quickly as possible. Our Congressional delegation came together in a bi-partisan letter to ask the feds to lift the $100 million cap on emergency funding.


Several people including Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill strongly made the point that getting Highway 34 between Loveland and Estes Park is an economic imperative for Northern Colorado. This applies to Fort Collins, too. While the Fort Collins community was extremely fortunate relative to flood damage, we are most definitely not in the clear economically. Over 3 million people a year visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Of those coming from outside the region, many will put Fort Collins on their list of things to do while in the area. Why not drop in to Fort Collins to visit downtown and the breweries? However, with the main attraction now hard to access, we’ll feel the effects until the highway is rebuilt.


I can’t do justice to the personal side of what happened but hundreds of people did amazing things to protect lives and property and take care of displaced people. City officials in Loveland helped Larimer County do building inspections so people could safely get back into their damaged homes and businesses.  School district employees rushed to save LaPorte Elementary school using their own tools and equipment and Jax Farm and Ranch opened in the middle of the night to help them. The United Way, the Red Cross, the Community Foundation, the Bohemian Foundation and others stepped up to provide direct help or funding. Larimer County Search and Rescue put people on the ground in remote parts of the county to find and help residents cutoff by the floods. And the men and women of the National Guard were genuine heroes, the first sign of hope for many people living through the worst time of their lives. Innumerable businesses and individuals donated time, money and resources to people who needed it. And so on and so on. Larimer County did itself proud.


Thanks to one and all.


If your business needs help or you know of someone’s business that does, you can find information here  and