Six months after September's rainstorms and floods ravaged Boulder County, victims and survivors still have unmet needs estimated to total tens of millions of dollars.

Flood survivors survey

World Renew Disaster Response Services interviewed people from 558 flood-impacted Boulder County households over a two-week period last month, during a project to help the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group of Boulder County assess remaining community needs from last September's floods. Among the statistics World Renew listed in its Feb. 23 report:

Recovery estimates:Construction costs of rebuilding or repairing homes and other structures was estimated at nearly $31.3 million, of which only up to $10.8 million may be covered by insurance. Replacing the destroyed or damaged contents of flood-affected homes and structures could cost another $1.3 million, of which only about $195,100 might be covered by insurance.

Construction needs: 38 said they needed total rebuilds. Major repairs needed by 212 households, minor repairs by 57 and temporary repairs by two households. Ten households said they need equipment and tools to make repairs, 69 said they need construction materials and supplies and 88 said they need assistance with the labor involved.


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Furniture needing replacement: 306 couches; 701 tables; 1,210 chairs; 429 dressers; 378 beds; 121 TVs and 32 window air conditioners.

Appliances needing replacement: 27 gas dryers; 70 electric dryers; 110 washers; 49 gas stoves; 34 electric stoves; 102 refrigerators; 49 freezers; 93 gas water heaters; 23 electric water heaters; 107 gas furnaces; 13 electric furnaces; and 28 central air conditioning systems.

Households reporting structural losses: major roads, 45; minor roads, 21; walls, 204; ceilings, 106; floors, 215; doors, 176; windows, 93; chimneys, 11; plumbing, 118; electrical, 118; foundations, 66; and outbuildings; 90.

Vulnerable populations: Of the people surveyed 58 were disabled; 48 reported medical problems; 165 were elderly; 26 were single parents; 22 needed interpreters; four were non-citizens; eight were migrants or refugees; and 25 were military veterans.

Sue Anderson, manager of the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group of Boulder County, said Tuesday that her organization has identified "roughly 700 households, give or take," as needing some form of assistance since the group began operating its intake telephone hotline in January.

Among those were representatives of 538 households who showed up during a two-week period in February for one-on-one interviews with World Renew Disaster Response Services. That national disaster recovery organization gathered information intended to help the Flood Recovery Group case managers connect residents with financial assistance, construction aid or other resources that might be available.

World Renew has reported that its interviews indicated that the "recovery costs" of those Boulder County households — the expenses, often uninsured, of rebuilding or repairing homes and other structures were destroyed or seriously damaged in the floods — could total nearly $31.3 million.

The costs of replacing the furniture, appliances and other contents of those flood-ravaged homes and structures could total another $1.3 million, World Renew's interviewers reported.

Those estimates will change, as other flood-impacted victims discover and report what it would cost or is costing them to rebuild, make repairs and replace the contents of the homes they own or the units they were renting, Anderson said.

But she predicted that total estimated costs for housing construction and repair expenses and for replacing the contents of that housing — an estimate Anderson said was based largely on a set of hour-long interviews — is a number that's "going to grow."

Boulder County Commissioner Deb Gardner, a member of the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group's executive committee, said not all the needs and problems that the interviewers reported deal exclusively with housing.

Of the "personal needs" reported, 399 cited some kind of financial need, 45 said they had health-related post-flood problems, and 125 cited stress-related problems.

Twenty-four said they needed help with their insurance claims, 52 reported needing help with their applications for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Small Business Administration.

World Renew's summary said 117 said someone in their household had at least temporarily lost their jobs in the wake of the flood, and 26 reported permanent job losses.

Said Gardner: "The bottom line is, there are still hundreds of people with millions of dollars of unmet needs out there."

Anderson said that "we continue to get calls, multiple calls, every day," from flood victims who have only recently learned about the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group and the possibility it might be able to help them — as well as getting additional lists of flood victims from local churches and social services agencies.

"Our resources are limited. We know that we can't help everybody," Anderson said.

Said Gardner: "There's no way to meet these needs without an influx of more volunteers and more financial help" — at least some of which, she said, will probably have to come from sources outside of Boulder County itself.

"We are still raising funds for distribution to those in need for the long term,"Anderson said. "Part of our work is to generate the funds that are often a last resort for people in need.

"Our job is to guide people and navigate their recovery with them to make sure they can access all available resources, not necessarily just ours," Anderson said, including various government programs and other nonprofits' funding sources.

Long-Term Flood Recovery Group of Boulder County

What: A partnership of nonprofits, government agencies, faith-based organizations, businesses and individuals formed to assist Boulder County flood victims and survivors

Where: 4775 Walnut St., Suite A, Boulder

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays

Telephone and other contact information: 303-895-3429; email floodrecovery@unitedwayfoothills.org; website: bocofloodrecovery.org

Anderson said, "We've been connecting people to resources that have money."

Anderson said the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group of Boulder County is serving as "the umbrella-aggregator that is bringing together the collaboration of many different agencies to support people toward their recovery, in addition to providing financial, volunteer and construction resources to survivors."

Gardner said the data collected in the interviews, as well as the information the Flood Recovery Group has gotten from others who have sought the group's services, will be used in illustrating the extent of needs as the group and local Boulder County governments seek volunteers, donations and grants from various state and federal agencies' disaster-recovery programs.

Said Anderson: "We have a good overview of where folks are," in terms of flood-related needs, but "the data changes every day."

Contact Times-Call staff writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com