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FEMA Extends Stay For Displaced Flood Victims

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Greg Overton shows the damage to his home (credit: CBS)

Greg Overton shows the damage to his home (credit: CBS)

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Some flood victims have spent weeks in hotels while spending time looking for new apartments or waiting for repairs to their homes. Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the stay for those folks.

Despite new funding some people are having to move from one hotel to another, especially this weekend. It’s Parents’ Day weekend at the University of Colorado and the Buffs are taking on Oregon. Hotels have been booked for months.

At the Boulder Outlook they’ve been accepting reduced rates from FEMA to house floods victims, but 35 of those families had to find another place to live Friday morning.

“We need a place that we can call home,” flood victim Patty Overton said.

Three weeks ago floodwaters forced the Overtons from their home in Big Elk Meadows near Lyons. Since then they’ve been living motel to motel, and they’re not alone. Flood survivors have formed support systems at hotels.

“We share recourses, You say, ‘Did you try this website or that website? You know, I heard about this or that,’ “ Patty Overton said.

“We are accommodating over 500 households right now,” Bill Rukeyser with FEMA said.

Rukeyser says the need for temporary housing is still so great that FEMA is extending aid for another two weeks. It was to end this weekend.

“We are lucky that hundreds of hotels and motels have joined our program. We’re hoping that more will too,” Rukeyser said.

“If f they hadn’t done the 30 days, we’d be in trouble right now because we wouldn’t have a place to stay,” Greg Overton said.

The Overtons, like many displaced flood victims, could be out of their home for up to a year.

“We keep going to hotels until we can find an apartment or a townhouse or something that we can stay in. And there’s nothing open,” Patty Overton said.

Even hotels are getting hard to come by. The couple was allowed to stay at the Boulder Outlook this weekend, only after a last-minute cancellation.

“It’s like a reprieve … but we can’t stop looking,” Patty Overton said.

“One adventure after another right now,” Greg Overton said.

At one point people displaced by the flooding filled almost all of the 160 rooms at the Boulder Outlook.

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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