Relief efforts under way after flood
Eagle Valley Enterprise
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – It happened again.
After all of the flood damage caused by heavy rain along Sweetwater Road on July 24, residents faced another hardship Aug. 6 when the road was closed by more mud slides. A rock slide also happened Aug. 6 near mile marker 19 on Colorado River Road.
“The latest slides weren’t as big or as hard to clean up,” said Eagle County Emergency Manager Barry Smith.
Disaster-relief efforts are already under way for the damage caused by the July 24 flood along Sweetwater Road north of Gypsum. A fundraiser with live music and a silent auction is planned for 4 p.m. at Moe’s Original Bar B Que in Eagle on Sunday. There will be live music and a silent auction. To get involved or get more information, call Keri Srholez at 970-524-1376 and she will direct you to the appropriate contact.
Eagle County also sent a document to Gov. John Hickenlooper requesting a limited emergency declaration. Smith said the declaration could help Sweetwater residents by making them more eligible for relief funds or tax breaks.
“It can open up a lot of avenues for assistance,” Smith said.
There is no word yet if the declaration has been granted. It probably won’t happen until next week, since Hickenlooper and the lieutenant governor aren’t available until then, Smith said. Meanwhile, Smith is requesting that Sweetwater residents contact him with damage estimates. He can be reached at 970-328-3545 or email@example.com.
“We’ve estimated it’s costing $190,000 to clean up the roads and that’s just public property – we’re still trying to get a handle on private-property damage,” Smith said.
On Tuesday, Smith said he had damage estimates from four private properties so far, totaling about $40,000. He said about 200 people live on Sweetwater Road. Not all of them were affected. Ranchers were hardest hit.
“It’s been a tough year for them,” Smith said. “First the drought and then some lost hay fields with this flood and might have a hard time feeding their livestock.”
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.