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Estes Park focuses on safety, recovery

10:04 AM, Sep 14, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Estes Park agencies say they are focusing on "life safety priorities" during the floods. They add that long-term recovery plans are already underway.

UPLOAD YOUR FLOODING PHOTOS HERE

EVACUATION AREAS
Evacuated are low-lying properties around all rivers from the U.S. 34/36 intersection west through town and west down the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers in Estes Park.  Also evacuated is much of the Fish Creek corridor and Highway 66 corridor beyond Aspen Brook/Dunraven Inn.  All low-lying property residents should be alert to changes in water levels.  Evacuate if you feel unsafe.  

RECENT ROAD CLOSURES DUE TO FLOODS

Evacuees should go to Mountain View Bible Fellowship on Hwy 7. Conference Center will only be opened if needed.  Large animals go to Fairgrounds and small animals to Animal Medical Center.  
 
FISH CREEK INFORMATION

All residents east of Fish Creek Road from U.S. 36 to Cheley Camp should not attempt to cross Fish Creek Road by foot or vehicle.  It is extremely unsafe and unstable. Shelter in place unless you are directly contacted by emergency personnel to assist you with evacuation.  If you feel unsafe, move to a safe location.  Neighbors must help one another. 
 
BUILDING SAFETY: RE-ENTRY CAUTION
Even if you do not see water damage and structural problems, it can still be there.  It is critical for your safety that you not attempt to reenter evacuated areas without further information. This will be provided as it becomes available.  
 
Rapid assessment teams are being organized to review conditions along the flood plain.  Please wait for further information and do not risk your safety.
 
FIND PEOPLE
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website should be used to find someone or post information about your location for your family and friends.  Visit www.safeandwell.org

Due to extreme volume of requests, responding agencies and the local Red Cross volunteers cannot manage this and ask that citizens use this website to contact one another.  Register today!
 
TRAVEL
NPS confirms that Trail Ridge Road is currently open through RMNP for essential traffic if you need to leave Estes Park. Commercial and private vehicles may travel Trail Ridge Road for essential traffic. Expect delays.  Otherwise restrict travel and stay safe. Other highways are closed right now by the managing agencies. (closed: U.S. 34/U.S. 36/CO 7/CR 43). 
 
Just because water recedes doesn't mean roads and bridges are safe.  After flooding, infrastructure can be compromised and structures may fail. 
 
Town's free shuttle system will not run this weekend.
 
HIGHWAY 7
Hwy 7 restricted to local residents for essential needs, emergency services and deliveries and visitors exiting Estes Park.  Those visitors will not be allowed to return.


News From The Colorado Department of Transportation:
 
DENVER/NORTHEAST COLORADO - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will reopen a route for some motorists to and from Estes Park later tonight around 10 p.m. Emergency personnel, residents of Estes Park, delivery vehicles and other essential visitors will be able to access Estes Park by taking State Highway (SH) 119 north from the Blackhawk/Central City area to Nederland to SH 72 north through Ward to SH 7 and then north to Estes park through Allenspark. CDOT will establish and enforce checkpoints at varying locations along the highway to ensure that only those with critical missions can enter and exit the town until more permanent repairs can be made.
 
Crews have been working to clean debris, muck, and rocks from highways, as well as perform needed repairs to small segments of the highway in order to open the route.  They will continue additional inspections and repairs prior to opening the highways to all motorists.  Despite the additional work still necessary, it was critical to establish access as soon as possible to enable essential services and provide relief for the residents. Motorists are reminded that these mountain roads require slower speeds and extra caution.
 
Although these sections of highway have reopened, there are still numerous highway closures along the Front Range as a result of flooding, and rock and mudslides. CDOT reminds motorists that while some roadways may appear passable, those near water flow may have damage that may not be apparent. Many highways and bridges will remain closed as a precaution until crews are able to evaluate whether or not they are safe for use.
 
WATER - BOIL ORDER  
The boil order is being lifted for the neighborhoods around Fish Creek that previously received the order from our staff.  THERE ARE NO OTHER BOIL ORDERS FOR ESTES PARK.  Some properties from Sketchbox Lane to the Uplands subdivision will continue to be without water until that can be restored. 
 
Officials say the water department is taking quality samples throughout town to ensure water quality and safety.
 
PUBLIC WORKS
Public works crews are working around the clock to evaluate public infrastructure. Many roads have suffered severe damage.  
 
Sand bag materials are no longer available to the public.   
                
Sanitation plants are not running, so please conserve sewage.  
 
LIGHT AND POWER

Crews are responding to power outages as quickly as possible. Power outages should be reported to 970-586-5335. Estes Park Light & Power has turned off power to the U.S. 34 canyon, Glen Haven and CR 43 to Drake due to infrastructure damage. Lines along a portion of Fish Creek under repair.
 
Crews will be assessing lines in the US 34 canyon and Glen Haven to determine if they can be reenergized.  They look better than expected. 

GENERAL
Please check on your neighbors as we are unable to do welfare checks with limited staff and resources.
 
Stay out of flood water - it can be contaminated.
 
DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH WATER OR PASS ROAD BLOCKS - You are putting your life and those of emergency responders at risk if you do. 
 
If you feel unsafe at your home, trust your instincts and go to the shelter.
 
Flooding is causing blocked roadways in low-lying areas.  Hazardous road conditions in Estes Park -- limit travel and watch for road blocks at low-lying areas due to high water. Do not venture out unless absolutely necessary. 
  
All residents in low-lying areas are asked to be on alert for rising water.  Be prepared to evacuate if needed.  
 
The Estes Park Town Board met at 12 noon Sept 12. to ratify a disaster declaration for Estes Park.

The town's public information line is 970-577-3716.  For emergencies, dial 9-1-1. Sign up to receive emergency notifications on your cell phone and email at leta911.org.  Email is a good option right now with phone difficulties.
 
Emergency Information regarding Flooding in Larimer County and closures: 970-498-5500.  

The Bureau of Reclamation reports that dams are safe, both Olympus and Mary's Lake are holding up well. 

We cannot provide water damage information for specific addresses.  Please be patient.  There is also no estimate for repairs to roads at this time. 

The town is working on gathering information on available resources and planning for extensive recovery efforts.
 
PHONES/INFORMATION
Landline 911 has been restored locally. Working landlines should be able to access 9-1-1.  
 
Town's call center open - recorded info and live staff 970-577-3716. (Saturday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
 
Cell phone companies and Century Link (landlines) are working to evaluate service in Estes Park, as well as Century Link.  When there is cell service again, please restrict use to necessity -- text data will be best to ensure towers can accommodate use.  This is critical for emergency services' ability to use the service.
 
Information updates will also be posted at Town Hall west entrance to board room, Estes Park Visitor Center, National Park Village at Beaver Point, and the evacuation center at Mountain View Bible Fellowship. 
 
Next public meeting will be 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14 at Town Hall Board Room.  It will be streamed live at estes.org/videos and viewers may send questions to info@estes.org.  We will answer as many questions as possible that benefit the audience overall.  Specific questions will be answered by email.  Yesterday's meeting is available online.

Sign up to receive emergency notifications on your cell phone and email at leta911.org.  Email may be a good option right now with phone difficulties.

For information regarding flooding in Larimer County (including Pinewood Springs, Big Thompson Canyon and Glen Haven) you must call 970-498-5500. Visit www.larimer.org and follow them at www.twitter.com/LarimerCounty  

Contact Boulder County Emergency Management for issues along Highway 7 including those related to Allenspark. Please call 303-441-3390.
 
Airbits is providing free public WiFi at Stanley Village, Appenzell Inn on Big Thompson Ave., Mountain View Bible/Evac Center, downtown.  No Password required.  Summitview Coffee on Moraine is also providing free wi-fi at their location.
 
Town facilities are closed to the public Friday and this weekend other than public meetings.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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