LAPORTE, Colo. (CBS4) – Some people who live along the Poudre River in Laporte, north of Fort Collins, are starting to breathe a sigh of relief. They’re also trying to figure out what to do with all of the sandbags.

It may not be time to write off the flood threat just yet, but some residents understandably are eager to put it behind them.

CBS4 meteorologist Dave Aguilera says the effect of melting snow on the level of the Poudre River has peaked, but it’s still high and heavy rain in the next few days that could cause flooding.

People who sandbagged before the runoff began are starting to let down their guard. The sandbags still surround Gloria Williams’ house even though the threat of flooding from snowmelt in the Poudre River is gone. Six weeks ago Williams and her neighbors in Laporte were rushing to fill sandbags in case the Poudre River jumped its banks.

Williams says the answer to what to do with hundreds of heavy sandbags came knocking at her door.

“We’ve been fortunate enough that a gentleman came by that needs the sand. He’s going to use the sand in his horse arenas,” Williams said.

Another friend with horses is also taking some of the bags.

“We’ve already taken two rows off, so two rows have already come off. We just kept the lower two for another couple of days, but they’ll be gone by this weekend,” Williams said.

Up the street a crew removed a pile of sand that went unneeded.

“It’s not going to waste,” Lane Anderson with L.A.’s bobcat service said.

Anderson says the homeowner hired him to move the sand to a swimming beach at a nearby reservoir.

“This is high-priced sand here. This is about the most expensive sand you can buy,” Anderson said..

One of Wlliams’ friends brought over some palates so they can save some of the sand bags, just in case. She may use some others to build a permanent berm. Even though the flood never came, Williams says the sandbagging work was worth it.

“All-in-all it was a lot of work, but we did have peace of mind. I think we respected Mother Nature,” Williams said.

A couple different weather experts say with the rivers still high, and the rain coming, they’d wait before removing all the sandbags even though the runoff has peaked.


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