GLEN HAVEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Demolition crews in Larimer County are rushing to tear down flood-damaged homes before another round of possible flooding could push them downstream.
“We’re concerned about high runoff. We had a lot of rain this past weekend,” said Larimer County Chief Building Official Eric Fried.
Glen Haven was one of the areas that was hit hardest during Colorado’s historic flooding last September, and there’s much work still to be done in the community.
The General Store in the center of the small town is the only structure still standing along West Creek, but in other parts of town what remains of some homes that were damaged by the floodwaters still needs to be cleaned up.
As part of Larimer County’s Abatement of Dangerous Homes Program, crews began tearing down two of those homes on Tuesday and were set to continue that work plus work on tearing down another home in town on Wednesday.
“We did identify what we felt were the most dangerous buildings,” Fried said. “These are buildings that have been so heavily damaged that they could further collapse. They could go into streams or rivers. They could cause more damage downstream.”
In addition to the homes in Glen Haven, there are about nine other homes in the county that are being targeted as part of the program. The program is being paid for mainly with county and federal dollars, and the goal is to prevent history from repeating itself.
“We’re able to finish the demolition Mother Nature started,” Fried said.
Once crews are done with the process they will focus on removing the flood debris that’s in the water.
Candace Phippen, Larimer County’s Code Compliance Supervisor, said that when they first assessed the dangerous buildings there were about 30 homes that were on their radar screen.
“Some owners demolished their homes, others obtained structural engineer evaluations with fixes designed to abate the danger, and for other properties, bank stabilization work abates the danger,” she said in a prepared statement.