Colorado floods: More than 700 evacuated

Colorado flood rescuers take search into remote communities.

Colorado floods—More than 700 evacuated in largest aerial rescue operation since Hurricane Katrina, officials say…

Second note from Colorado, Sept 15, 2013

To my dear friends and family – I want you all to know we’re okay. 

Yesterday afternoon, with the help of three amazing men from Fire and Rescue (they were the ones stranded with us all this time), we hiked up the steep mountain behind my house; 11 people with 4 dogs, 1 cat, 1 cockatiel, and 2 ducks. Just over the top, I must have looked like a pathetic, limping mess, because they put me into an ATV vehicle with  Odin, Birdie, and Sarah’s guitar, while everyone else hiked the rest of the way down the ridge to the top of Apple Valley. There we were met by National Guard troops with a military transport truck. Wonderful men and women in uniform handing us water bottles, asking about our wellbeing, and helping load us into the truck – carefully handling the animals.  I wanted to hug each and every one of them and never let go. They  all belong on a Wheaties box.

They drove us down the mountain, and through the town of Lyons. The town that is no longer what it used to be. Huge pieces of highway gone, trees uprooted, bridges destroyed. The town has been evacuated, and we were told not to expect to be able to get back into Lyons for at least four weeks while they rebuild infrastructure.

They took us to Lifebridge church in Longmont where they had set up a well organized center for evacuees – including an animal center for our pets ready with vets, pet food, pet enclosures, carriers, etc.

The fate of our home is, alas, not to be known for some time. Although most of our property (probably about 2/3 of an acre) was taken by the river, the house was still standing when we left, but the river had cut such a deep and wide gorge, that it is now perched on what looks to be a thirty foot cliff. The steps leading to our front door are now just 10 feet away from the precipice. There is no knowing how it will react to more rain. Also, there will not be any answers for quite some time as to whether there will ever again be road access to the house. The landscape has altered so irrevocably, to get it back to anything resembling what it was seems like it would take another act of God.

Losing our home is cause for much sadness, but this event has, in one searing flash of illumination, distilled my world down to only what is most important – my daughter and the people and creatures I love are all okay. Everything else – the house and everything in it–all the bits and pieces of possessions that seemed so essential at one time, it turns out, are just layers of sweet frosting. 

We are the lucky ones –  there are people and animals who live further up our road who may not have made it out yet. Please pray for them. And while you’re at it, please pray for less rain.

Thank you all for your well wishes and thoughts and prayers. 

Love to you all. Stay safe. Stay warm and dry. Stay close to your loved ones.

Copyright Why Girl; Webmaster Regina Cleveland; Graphic Artist Mel Dominquez

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