Jamestown still recovering from massive flood damage

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17min 46sec
(Photo: CPR/Pat Mack)
<p>A close view of a damaged home on the Little James Creek.</p>

The mayor of the small mountain community of Jamestown says recovery efforts are on track six months after massive flooding left a path of destruction behind.

The Big and Little James Creeks converge in this Boulder County community. When they overtopped their banks in September, they destroyed homes, roads, buildings and infrastructure.

Mayor Tara Sheddinger says the creeks are now cleared of debris, including damaged homes. Temporary repairs have been made to roads.

"I think we're further ahead than I would have expected," Sheddinger said. "We’re trying to take a lot of steps at once just to keep things moving at the aggressive pace we’ve laid out to bring our community home."

Work is beginning to protect the town from runoff when the mountain snowpack melts. That will include berms, bank stabilization and basins to catch debris.

The biggest priority now is restoring the town’s drinking water.

Jamestown will cover about 3% of the $15-25 million cost of repairing the water system. The rest of the funding will come from the federal and state government. Sheddinger says drinking water should be back on line by this fall, allowing more displaced residents to come back. Jamestown has launched a fundraising effort to pay for recovery efforts.

"I think one of the biggest things is that the longer people are displaced from their home the more likely they are to lay down roots elsewhere," she said. "Keep their kids in school where they are and that sort of thing and maybe never return home."

The Red Cross and Salvation Army helped provide cisterns, allowing 30 families to return to Jamestown without needing to rely on bottled water.