FIRESTONE — Roads and schools remained closed in the Tri-Town area as residents and town officials repair damage from days of heavy rainfall that brought flooding and evacuations throughout the Front Range.
In a letter to district parents, St. Vrain Valley Superintendent Don Haddad said all schools were on schedule to reopen Thursday, Sept. 19, with the exception of schools in Lyons, scheduled to open on a staggered schedule next week.
“I would like to convey my deep concern to the entire SVVSD community for the severe damage this catastrophic storm is inflicting on our families, neighborhoods and towns. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers,” Haddad wrote. “When our students and staff return to school, please be assured that our facilities will be safe, fully staffed and prepared to provide a safe and supportive school environment.”
Haddad said the district would continue to consult with law enforcement, town officials and other authorities to monitor the condition of the infrastructure needed to safely reopen the schools.
“Our concerns include clean water, the power grid, natural gas, sewage systems, walking paths, roads, highways, and school bus routes among others,” Haddad wrote. “We are also concerned that SVVSD students, teachers and staff who live outside the area have safe travel routes to schools and other District facilities. We will continue to consult with municipal engineers and other public officials to monitor the condition of our interconnecting roads, bridges and highways.”
The slow-moving storm system dumped record amounts of rain on Carbon Valley — six inches fell on Sept. 12 alone — but the area was also hit by flooding from the St. Vrain River, which swelled from the heavy rainfall in Boulder County.
This flooding prompted the evacuation of homes in the Del Camino area of Firestone near Longmont, which was particularly hard hit at the junction of Boulder and St. Vrain creeks. Highway 119 connecting Firestone and Longmont was closed during the storm after flood water washed over the road.
Colorado Boulevard (Weld County Road 13) was also closed in parts of Frederick and Firestone due to standing water. And north of Firestone, CR 13 was washed away by waters from the St. Vrain River. In a press release, the Town of Firestone announced that this section of CR 13, north of CR 26, would remain closed to allow repairs to the damage. Alternative routes are advised.
“In an attempt to rescue two stranded motorists who bypassed beyond the barricade at 1:30 a.m., the Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District fire engine that was sent to rescue two stranded motorists was overcame by rising water,” the Firestone press release stated. “The crew made it out safely as did the rescued parties. The engine has been left in place until safe conditions allow it to be removed.”
The Weld County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Sept. 13 declaring a disaster emergency in Weld County.
The declaration allows the county to request federal funds for disaster relief.
The Town of Firestone will host a flood cleanup day from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Firestone Public Works Facility, 7500 Pine Cone Ave. (WCR 20). For Firestone residents only, proof of residency will allow residents to dispose of debris from the flood. No chemicals will be accepted.
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email email@example.com.