Colo. Residents Affected by Flooding Wait to Find Out FEMA Aid Eligibility | NECN

Colo. Residents Affected by Flooding Wait to Find Out FEMA Aid Eligibility



    Neighbors are hard at work helping each other until they find out if they qualify for federal assistance (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN/KUSA: Jon Shirek) - In Colorado, flooding has ravaged towns, homes and businesses.

    Flood waters even stretched as far as Aurora, where residents are facing repairs to their homes with no flood insurance or help from the state.

    FEMA has only just been approved to assess the damage to determine who is eligible for help.

    "It’s just been sad."

    Aurora's silent heartache: as if every memory of every family of the flood, every tear must be tossed, best forgotten and hauled away.

    "Everyone's been pitching in. We've been trying to help each other," says Mike Miller.

    He lives on Tucson Street where construction dumpsters full of debris in front of almost every home tell of severe damage inside.

    “The people in the north are far worse off than we are. We still have our home, and it looks fine from the outside. But we sustained some damage and it’s not going to be easy to get over."

    It was as if their homes were suddenly on top of geysers with water coming up from underground and raw sewage from the city mains backing up into their basements two and three feet deep.

    "See this is how moist all of this is, it just comes right off. All that's mold," explains Jack Oquendo.

    He and his neighbors are hearing from the city of Aurora that the city will not assume liability for the backed up city sewer lines.

    FEMA representatives though are going door to door, and assessing damage and deciding who might qualify for federal assistance. It will be welcome. All of the repairs right now are out of pocket.

    No one has flood insurance. They have never had a flood until now.

    Dumpsters for example that might cost $100 per load, are now $300 because of demand and every homeowner fills up the dumpsters multiple times.

    So no one is waiting for help that may or may not come.

    They are hard at work now, and helping each other.

    "It just shows that people really care. When you need something, people are there."

    Their tears, like all the damage here hidden on the inside, are best tossed away forgotten. Clear but sad eyes are looking ahead.