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Far Eastern Plains Communities Brace For Water Surges

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CROOK, Colo. (CBS4) – Some residents in Northeast Colorado are preparing for new possible flooding.

The threat is for communities like Julesburg, Crook and Sedgwick as the high water from the Front Range is swelling the South Platte River.

 in brush from April Hess captured this photo of flood damage to Highway 71 in Brush.

April Hess captured this photo of flood damage to Highway 71 in Brush.

Crook has already experienced some minor flooding, and the community was evacuated overnight.

The concern is that an irrigation canal was compromised, and that’s bringing the threat of water to the west and north of the town. Normally the river runs south of Crook.

Many locals who remember flooding in 1965 told CBS4 the town is actually at a lower elevation than the river, which could lead to major problems with a crest of the South Platte River.

On Thursday night the fire department was out monitoring several locations around the area and when the water got high enough that’s when the town was evacuated.

Flooding in Crook on Sept. 17, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Flooding in Crook on Sept. 17, 2013. (credit: CBS)

So far no water has gotten into the town center, but it has flooded the home of at least one resident.

What many people in the area are worried about is a second surge of water. They were alerted from emergency personnel in Sterling to the southwest that dealt with the same issue on Thursday.

“It kind of overwhelmed us,” Crook Volunteer Firefighter Bruce Kokes said. “Withing 30 minutes, everything on the north side flooded and when we did the evacuation an hour and a half later we had major water.”

In Julesburg on Thursday CBS4 interviewed Daniel Palic, who is sure his house will flood. Instead of packing up sandbags around the home, which is located right next to the South Platte River, he packed everything up and moved out.

“That’s one blessing — we’ve had four or five days heads up. We’re not sitting around. The neighbor was getting his cows out yesterday. And we (got out) the horses. I’ve just gotten out my chickens out,” Palic said.

Two years ago the water level came up 20 yards from the Palic’s house.

Across the Eastern Plains CBS4 found residents who are very sympathetic to the problems many people on the Front Range are experiencing. One employee of the Colorado Department of Transportation who owns a home that is flooding in Crook told CBS4 his problems are small in comparison to the troubles currently being experienced in communities like Lyons, Greeley, Jamestown and Longmont.

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.

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