DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. John Hickenlooper has some big plans when it comes to helping flood victims in Colorado with recovery and rebuilding.

He sat down with CBS4’s Alan Gionet to discuss the devastation that’s torn apart entire communities, literally, and the road to recovery.

“We’re going to try to orchestrate some of the largest volunteer efforts to rebuild homes. We’re going to start this fall planning for next spring once the snow goes to try to bring people from around the country to donate their time,’ said Hickenlooper. “You know, I don’t know will we build 500 homes, a thousand homes, I don’t know. But we’re going to take a run at it because I think that’s the Colorado way.”

Hickenlooper also said there are lessons to be learned from the destructive flooding just as Colorado has continued to learn from wildfires that burned entire neighborhoods.

“One of the keys here that I think in terms of fires we’ve done a great, a great job of learning from the experience. We’re not going to have wood-shake shingles in the wildife – urban, wildfire – urban interface. We’re going to make sure we don’t have wood decks and trees right up against the house. The same thing here when we rebuild homes we don’t want them to be right there where the next flood is going to take it away.”

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Entire Interview With Gov. Hickenlooper On Recovery

He also talked about those who may not want to give up their property or what may be considered dangerous after flood waters tore through some canyons.

“I will tell you that state government is not going to tell anyone that they can’t rebuild. We’re not going to dictate. But FEMA has a program, we’d have to raise some of our community development block grant money. It’s a private match that actually buys people out of their homes. If their homes are where we think it’s likely to have the next flood that’s going to take away their home, we should encourage them and try to make them whole as much as we can to go build somewhere else. Again, that just makes all of us stronger the next time.”

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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