NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Seeking Shelter From Waters, Flood Victims Now Wait

Durrie Bouscaren
Iowa Public Radio

Anticipating hundreds, volunteers milled about at an evacuation center set up at Timberline Church in Fort Collins Sunday morning. With heavy rains grounding helicopters in Larimer County, few flood victims were able to make their way to the shelter.

Michael Street, of West Loveland, drove to the center with his wife and daughter in a '95 4Runner as the waters began to reach their home.

"I said I'd never get rid of it, and now there's a reason. Just enough clearance to get out," Street said.

At the shelter, Street also hoped to find his mother, who was stranded alone in Glen Haven. Street says he hasn't heard from her since Wednesday night - she has no electricity and cell service has been disrupted.

"The irony is, I was giving her a hard time Wednesday night. I said, ‘You need to keep your minutes up, you need to have some form of communication.’ Then, Thursday morning, this happens," Street said.

Credit Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio
Iowa Public Radio
From a bright blue backpack stuffed with dog food, Gabe Ochoa, of Drake, feeds his six-year-old black lab outside a temporary shelter in Fort Collins on Sunday morning. Ochoa said some family members were still back home awaiting rescue, but with plenty of food and water.

The center processed hundreds of evacuees Saturday who were bused in after being airlifted from the Big Thompson Canyon area. Many found places to stay with friends and family, and volunteers said about 45 remained overnight.

Jose Diaz of Drake said he and his girlfriend were stranded at their home in Drake for three days without running water or electricity.

"The water almost took the cabin out. We left trucks, cars, and everything there. A couple pairs of jeans, a shirt, that's all we could get," Diaz said.

Relief came Saturday when they rode a helicopter to safety and found shelter in a motel. Diaz says he isn't sure what happens next, but the couple may move to Loveland.

For Tricia Kob of Fort Collins, it's been an ongoing struggle to find information about her mother, who lives on North Fork Road in the Big Thompson Canyon. Kob has been monitoring video footage of the damage closely, and visited the evacuation center to search for her.

"My mom lives over seven bridges to get to her house. Most of those have been wiped out," Kob said.

Despite the lack of phone service, Kob says word of mouth and Facebook have helped her confirm that her mother is safe, but had decided to wait until Sunday to evacuate.

"It's just frustrating, I feel kind of helpless,” Kob said, as the rain continued outside.

Durrie Bouscaren was a general assignment reporter with Iowa Public Radio from March 2013 through July 2014.
Related Content