Report: Mental health, communication efforts lagged after Boulder County floods

May 12, 2015
Photo: Before/after floods 1a
This Nov. 13, 2013 photo was taken two months after September's destructive flood in Jamestown, Colo.  

A new report says more mental health services should have been provided to the victims of the 2013 floods in Boulder County.

The same report, by Boulder County Office of Emergency Management, says overall the county responded well to the historic flooding. Those areas included community engagement, damage assessment and debris removal. 

Scores of people used the county’s Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center. And the center itself was deemed a "best practice." 

But the mental health component of the operation could have been better, said the emergency management office's coordinator, Marcelo Ferreira.
 
“Oftentimes, staff were willing and wanting to give information about permitting for instance because that was kind of their subject matter of expertise and their area of concern," he said. "But residents wanted to come in and really share their story because they really had a lot of things they needed to share and just get off their chest.”

Among the lessons learned in the report is the need for cities and towns to coordinate efforts by holding joint meetings and producing joint documents to avoid public confusion. Another was the need for a point person between federal state and local agencies to minimize confusion and conflicting orders. 
 
The report says more than 40 community meetings on the flood were held, and accoring to Ferreira.

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