LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – As in any natural disaster, Coloradans step up to help their neighbors – they’ve had a lot of practice. In some cases, that even means letting complete strangers into their homes.
In Longmont hundreds of families are without a place to stay. Some are staying in shelters such as LifeBridge Church, and others are lucky enough to have family nearby. There are even message boards trying to connect evacuees with strangers with good hearts. By the looks of the massive damage, it will be happening for a long time.
Homes are destroyed, communities under water and roads washed away. Rebuilding infrastructure will take years, so where do people like Patrick and Lois Lee go? Their Lyons home was destroyed.
“Long term is like 2 to 5 hours ahead,” Lois Lee said. “We’re not really sure about housing or permanence.”
Like thousands of families, the Lee’s are moving from a shelter to temporary housing found by Patrick Lee’s employer.
“We’re staying with somebody I work with who I didn’t know before and now we’re part of the family,” Patrick Lee said.
Shelters will likely remain open for months, or as long as they can, but it’s the federal government that will direct families long term. Evacuees need to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We’re looking to their leadership, FEMA’s leadership, for that long-term assistance. We have not heard the details on that,” Pastor Drew Depler with LifeBridge Church said.
“We meet people and things change every day. It just unfolds and things appear and people appear and it changes our route,” Lois Lee said. “By the end of the day we have a new plan that might not be carried out tomorrow.”
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.