BOULDER -- Boulder County commissioners approved nearly $2.5 million in emergency spending requests Tuesday morning for initial road and bridge and human services expenses county officials said are needed in the wake of the recent floods.

Commissioners authorized spending $1,895,672 for assessing and repairing Boulder County road and bridge damages and $500,000 for human services needs.

Boulder County budget director Margaret Parish said that's likely only the beginning of the costs the county will incur for its responses to the floods over the past several days and into the future.

The nearly $1.9 million for road and bridge work represents "every dollar that we could find" in the 2013 budget's road and bridge account budget and its emergency reserve, Parish said.

Parish and the commissioners said that spending is being authorized immediately so that county Transportation Department director George Gerstle and his staff can begin work immediately in setting priorities, staging equipment and contracting for the repairs needed to washed-out roads and bridges.

"It's obviously not going to be enough for the job," said Commissioner Elise Jones, but it's a start.

"I'm sure we'll be back," Parish said.

Parish said the $500,000 being shifted from an emergency human services account is also probably just the first step in addressing the needs the county will have to cover in assisting flood victims, including expenses related to operating emergency response centers.

John Fryar can be reached at 303-684-5211 or