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National Guard Continues Rebuilding Food Damaged Roads

Utah National Guard Public Affairs
Members of the Utah National Guard work to reconstruct Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes Park

Around 75 engineers from the Kansas National Guard are on their way to Colorado to relieve members of the Montana National Guard working to rebuild flood damaged roads. The main focus of the National Guard units is the rebuilding of Highway 36 from Lyons to Estes Park.

Members of the Kansas National Guard will arrive in Colorado Wednesday and will be deployed for approximately 18 days.

"Our Guardsmen are always ready and willing to respond when a disaster hits, either at home or to help our neighbors in other states," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the Kansas adjutant general.

"Just last year, some of our helicopter crews responded to assist in combating wildfires in Colorado and I know our friends out there will be just as willing to come to our aid, if we ever need them," Tafanelli said.

Credit Utah National Guard Public Affairs
Members of the Utah National Guard survey damage to Hwy 36.

Governor John Hickenlooper says his goal is to have all of the state’s flood damaged roads reopened by December.

“We’re now up to 74 percent of our roads that have been reconnected, some of them are temporary; in other words we’ll have to come back in the spring or the summer to do a more permanent fix,” Hickenlooper said. “But again, we are committed to doing what everyone said was impossible –to get all of our towns and all of our roads back, at least in a temporary form, by December 1st.”

The ongoing government shutdown caused concern that the guard units would be unable to continue assisting Colorado rebuild its roads, however Hickenlooper announced in early October that Colorado would use state funds to keep the National Guard working through the shutdown.

The state hopes 75 percent of the expense will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with state and local governments paying the remaining 25 percent.

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