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Flood damage isolates Glen Haven

7:53 PM, Oct 3, 2013   |    comments
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GLEN HAVEN - Flood-ravaged Glen Haven near Estes Park is a town in need of more help.

RECENT COLORADO FLOODING STORIES

Three weeks after a wall of water destroyed most of the businesses in the Larimer County town, many of the town's 300 or so permanent residents are wondering when additional help is going to arrive.

"We're at a point where we need to see some help come in here. We need some heavy equipment and operators," Glen Haven General Store co-owner Steve Childs said.

Childs pointed at his mostly intact building and then at the Glen Haven Town Hall building that still rests right next to the general store. It moved 20-feet off of its foundation when the water came rushing in.

"The two buildings have mated," he quipped.

The piles of debris are everywhere. Parts of some of the three creeks that merge in the area no longer flow in their historic channels.

Five of the town's seven businesses are now gone. Childs figured three quarters of the town's residents remain displaced.

"It's not as if their houses have been destroyed. It's just that many people can't get to them," he said.

Many bridges in the area were simply washed out.

"We just got annihilated," the town's fire chief Jason Gdovicak said. "We are in this for the long haul. I think everybody is doing good, but I think we are getting a little overwhelmed at times."

The town's old fire station was destroyed. Fortunately the town's new fire station was nearly ready when the flood came through.

Cars washed downstream still sit frozen in silt and time.

Steve and Becky Childs first met at the general store more than three decades ago when Becky's parents were trying to bring it back from the flood of 1976. Since then, the building's charm and Becky's homemade cinnamon rolls have made the building a mainstay in the town.

They both plan on rebuilding. However, it's going to take time and money.

The goal is to reopen by summer. First, they need to try to make sure the building that remains can stay. The town hall's presence right next to it won't make it easy.

"It's going to be a long project," Steve Childs said. "The sooner we can get started, the sooner we can get it done."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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