Colorado United, a state-run website, reported the flooding was “the most costly catastrophe in Colorado’s 138 year history.” Ten Coloradans lost their lives and 18,000 people were forced to evacuate. There were 1,800 homes that were destroyed, and 28,300 more were damaged.
World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) area representatives and regional managers were quickly sent to assess the damage and determine where World Renew could help get homeowners and communities back on their feet. As DRS representatives met with the residents and local officials, it was clear a rapid response team was needed. A clean-up team was deployed to Lyons, Colorado, to help flood survivors begin the difficult task of clean-up and mold prevention.
Over the next year, World Renew carried out needs assessments in Weld, Boulder, and Larimer counties. Volunteers conducted one-on-one interviews with survivors to identify those who were the most vulnerable. This included residents who did not have access to running water in their homes for months after the flood and others were being evicted from temporary housing and facing homelessness. Still others were living in homes where black mold was already present and threatening their health. World Renew DRS volunteers logged and assessed these urgent needs and turned them over the local case workers to ensure that they were addressed in the next 24 hours. Non-urgent needs were also prioritized for response when time and resources allowed.
Groups of World Renew DRS volunteers are providing reconstruction services to these homeowners under the coordination of a local volunteer located in Boulder County.
To organize a reconstruction trip to help flood survivors in Colorado, visit worldrenew.net/drs to get started.