EVANS - The waters of the Platter River have receded. However, people in towns like Evans are still trying to fight their way back.
Piece by piece, those flood victims are tearing down to rebuild. Some homes are condemned and abandoned, but not all of them.
"We still had water and things floating. Now, we've gotten that all cleaned out," Evans homeowner Selina Merkt said.
Today, Merkt's finished basement is stripped down to its frame and dry. That wasn't the case just three weeks ago. Her son's room and her daughter's memories were swallowed under mud and flood.
"That's when it really hit me, that we just lost our home," Merkt said. "I didn't think there was any hope."
The water would have to recede before Merkt could begin to rise above it.
"At one point, it was at ear level for me. That's about how high the water had gotten," she said.
Her faith would be restored by a ministry aid group. They volunteered for two days, gutting each room from the baseboards to the basement.
"That's when I actually felt like there was hope again. It felt like that boulder I was carrying on my shoulders was just gone," Merkt remarked.
With federal aid, Merkt was able to buy a new furnace and water heater. She can't move back in yet, but the house is structurally sound and soon safe for a family to call home again.
"It feels good to know that I can bring my kids home. Three weeks ago we didn't have that hope," she said.
Governor Hickenlooper signed an executive order Wednesday to add eight counties to the list of those already receiving state money for flood recovery. That brings the total to 24.
FEMA says assessing damage claims from the floods is only in the early stages and the process of filing and paying them out will go on for years.
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