AURORA - The severe flood damage that extends south into Arapahoe County has transformed some of Aurora's residential streets into parking lots for construction dumpsters.
Homeowners filled the giant bins with debris from inside their damaged homes.
Residents are hoping for federal assistance from FEMA, but they're not waiting for it.
"Everyone's been pitching in. We've been trying to help each other," Mike Miller said.
Miller lives on Tucson Street, where all those full dumpsters tell of the severe damage inside.
"The people to the north are far worse off than we are. We still have our home, and it looks fine from the outside," Miller said. "But we sustained some damage that's not going to be easy to get over."
Miller's neighbor two doors down, Jack Oquendo, showed a visitor how the water rose thigh-high in his basement. It was as if his home and his neighbors' homes were suddenly on top of geysers. [There was] water coming up from underground, and raw sewage from city mains backing up into their basements."
Oquendo and his neighbors are hearing from the City of Aurora that the city will not assume liability for the backed-up city sewer lines.
FEMA representatives are going door-to-door assessing damage and deciding who might qualify for federal assistance.
It will be welcome.
All the repairs now are out of pocket. No one has flood insurance. They've never had a flood until now.
The dumpsters, for example, might cost $100 per load. Oquendo is now paying $300 per load, because of the high demand for the dumpsters. And every homeowner is paying for multiple loads.
So no one's waiting for help that may or may not come. They're hard at work now, and helping each other.
"It just shows that people really care," Miller said. "When you need something, people are there."
The City of Aurora is planning to set up an office for FEMA within the next week or two, so residents and business owners will have a central place to register for assistance.
Written by: Jon Shirek
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