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Gilpin County Flood Victims Hope Governor’s Visit Helps Bring Aid

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Gov. John Hickenlooper talks with CBS4's Heather Burke (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper talks with CBS4′s Heather Burke (credit: CBS)

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GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Some flood victims who got shut out of federal recovery efforts are hoping a visit by the governor will help them recover.

Homeowners in Coal Creek Canyon in Gilpin County are having a hard time getting federal aid because the county is so small, but they hope Gov. John Hickenlooper’s visit will make things easier.

Hickenlooper went to Annie Sharbrough’s home on Friday to see the damage it endured during the floods.

“I am thrilled. I feel like Gilpin is the forgotten county,” Sharbrough’s said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied individual aid to about 18 homeowners in Gilpin County, including Sharbrough. She and her neighbors are now appealing the decision.

“In those places where a corner of a country and maybe only four houses destroyed, for those four people, it’s every bit of a disaster,” Hickenlooper said. “As that county is a small disaster and yet FEMA and federal government treats it as two different disasters. It’s all one disaster.”

Hickenlooper hopes his tour there will get people like Sharbrough the help they need.

["The best thing about these individual tours, it allows me to see firsthand what's going on, so when I argue in Washington, I can say, ‘No, this is what someone told me. I saw this," Hickenlooper said.

"That letter of declaration is what's holding us up,” Sharbrough’s said.

Sharbrough believes there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

"We do need help here in Gilpin County, and the red tape that goes up and down that gets FEMA in the county to help the citizens of the county get back to pre-flood status," Sharbrough’s said.

The governor says the deadline for individual aid is early next month, but the appeals process could take a lot longer.

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.

More September Flooding Stories

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