FIRESTONE — The tap water in Firestone and Frederick are now safe to drink, and the vast majority of roads in the Tri Town area and across Weld County are open, but the cleanup from days of heavy rain and flooding continues.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has authorized $26 million from state funds for flood response and recovery for the 17 Colorado counties affected by the flooding.
“A total of 754 troops, 19 helicopters, 20 ground search-and-rescue teams, and 67 traffic-control points were operational,” Gov. Hickenlooper said. “I ordered that $6 million be transferred into the Disaster Emergency Fund. The estimated cost of disaster relief so far has been approximately $3.5 million per day, with estimates that 75 percent of the funds ordered had been expended as of Sept. 16. As extensive relief efforts continue, I find that the $6 million that was originally ordered is insufficient to pay for the flood response and recovery.”
Weld County is included in the disaster relief designation, which — in addition to state funds — also includes assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Town of Firestone has been included in FEMA DR-4145 Individual and Public Assistance, which means homeowners and renters in Firestone who have been affected by the storm can register with FEMA for assistance. Individual assistance is available to individuals for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in their recovery.
FEMA is now on site in Firestone to allow residents to apply for individual assistance in person.They are open at the Recovery Assistance Center located at the SW Weld Complex at 4209 CR 24.5 (East I-25 Frontage Road) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, or later if needed. The Recovery Assistance Center includes a number of local and county support services and information for impacted residents.
Residents can register by stopping by the SW Weld Complex, calling 800-621-FEMA or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.
The return of a little late summer heat and sunshine has helped the state dry out, but it has brought a new threat: mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus.
“People should take precautions [against mosquitoes] now of course, but it will be especially important in the coming weeks,” Dr. Mark Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment said.
Weld County officials warned the public that the heat, humidity and standing water will not only cause mosquitoes to mature at a more rapid rate, but it also helps the virus incubate in birds that have been infected. This will make it easier for mosquitoes to pick up the virus and spread it to humans.
The public is advised to check properties for pooling water such as buckets, tarps, wheelbarrows and other containers that hold water, which can create breeding grounds for the mosquitos. Mosquitos avoid the warmest parts of the day, so residents are advised to be careful of mosquitos during dusk and early morning hours.
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email email@example.com.