As residents, crews and emergency responders continue to dig out in the wake of a 100-year flood, state and local officials said they know the road to recovery for Boulder, the county and the rest of Colorado will be a long one.
But, they said, residents will find a way to band together and pull through.
That already was evidenced across the city of Boulder on Saturday. Residents volunteered to help neighbors clean out their homes, build make-shift structures to divert still-receding floodwaters and gather supplies, as many launched what is sure to be arduous recovery in their neighborhoods.
At the same time, businesses offered their support, providing special rates, making donations and hosting fundraisers.
"We are resilient," Boulder County Commissioner Cindy Domenico said at a morning press briefing. "We proved it after Fourmile (Fire), we'll prove it again after this."
Sheriff Joe Pelle added, "We are in this for the long haul."
Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum said the city has always tried to prepare for a flood, but most of that planning was for flash floods at single water sources, not the type of sustained flooding the city has seen over the past few days across all of the major waterways.
Even so, Appelbaum said, the preparation the city did helped to ensure the damage was not worse.
"In many places, that planning paid off," Appelbaum said. "We will have a great city again in the not so distant future."
All across Boulder on Saturday, countless scenes of the compassion and support people offer each other in times of great crisis played out.
University Hill's Fox Theatre held a benefit concert Saturday night that included a food drive in the lobby and dedicated half of the proceeds to the American Red Cross.
Another example was the Millennium Harvest House, which dropped its rate for flood victims and waived the standard pet fee and pet deposit.
"Almost every reservation today has been made by people who had to leave their homes," said Stacey Policarpio, a reservations agent at the hotel, 1345 28th St.
At Eighth & Pearl Antiques in downtown Boulder, mud and water slid under the front door during the storm, soaking the carpet. Only one item was damaged, said Jill Cassells and Vicki Anderson, two of the store's owners, but the water damage to the store was obvious.
"I don't even know how we're going to get all the mud and smell out of it," Anderson said.
As they continued clean-up efforts of hosing down the sidewalk, the two said scores of passers-by had offered to help.
"There are some really kind people," Cassells said.
Lafayette resident Sabina Spencer stopped by a crowded McGuckin Hardware on Saturday to buy supplies for a friend impacted by the flooding in north Boulder. She commented on the high spirits of people working to clean up after the storm.
"Everybody seems to be doing great," Spencer said. "Everybody is helping each other out and we're eating bagels and drinking coffee..."
McGuckin manager Louise Garrels said the atmosphere in the crowded store showed the true spirit of the community.
"What's been really wonderful to see, everyone's just talking to each other about what they're going through, sharing ideas," Garrels said.
Gov. John Hickenlooper and members of the state's congressional delegation took a helicopter tour across flood-ravaged Boulder County and parts of Jefferson and Larimer counties Saturday.
During a brief stop in Boulder, Hickenlooper spoke with optimism.
"I think the thing that we're all agreed to is that we're gonna come back and we are going to rebuild better than it was before," he said
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who lives in Eldorado Springs and was among the other leaders who accompanied Hickenlooper, said the damage in his neighborhood was terrible, but noted that many areas across the Front Range suffered such destruction. He said he is impressed by the selfless efforts of law enforcement, rescue agencies, the Colorado National Guard, and residents, who have done all they can to help their neighbors.
"We're hanging together. We're helping our neighbors. We're moving debris. We're cooking meals for each other" he said. "Back across town, Boulder's Justin Hoffenberg, whose his family has lived at the 700 block of University since 1990, talked about neighbors' quick and ongoing effort to lend others a hand. For instance, he said, by 4 a.m. Thursday -- during some of the worst of the storm -- dozens of his neighbors were helping to divert floodwaters.
Since then, the 26-year-old estimated that hundreds of people assisted the neighborhood in property protection and clean-up.
"The community effort has been fantastic."