(Sept. 10) – Five years ago, Lyons, Evans, Greeley and other areas of Northern Colorado were hit hard by floods that damaged homes, destroyed two parks and left eight dead.
This year, Governor Hickenlooper signed HB18-1394, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont. The bill creates a policy group to help coordinate the state’s response in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and continues the Colorado Resiliency Office, which helps direct long-term rebuilding efforts and community recovery. The bill was a part of a disaster relief bill package House Democrats worked to pass this legislative session. Rep. Singer realizes that not everyone was able to make it back home but with the passage of this bill, it’s his hope that other families will not have to experience similar hardships in the future.
“Five years later, Lyons and other areas in my district continue to deal with the aftermath of the floods,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, whose district includes Longmont, Lyons and eastern Boulder County and was among the hardest hit areas in the state by the floods. “I remain in awe of the resiliency of our community. This bill is aimed at making disaster response quicker and recovery more effective.”
In 2013, then-Speaker Mark Ferrandino and other lawmakers formed a bipartisan committee to address flood issues. Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley served as co-chair of the committee. Parts of Rep. Young’s district in Evans and Greeley were also damaged by the floods. Rep. Young was a prime sponsor of HB14-1002 which created a grant program to help local governments or private businesses that operate public water systems repair damaged water and wastewater treatment plants.
“After the floods, I saw first-hand the grit and devotion of Coloradans who vowed not to give up and instead to rebuild,” said Rep. Young. “At the legislature, we worked across the aisle to put policies in place that will assist people who were impacted by the floods and help communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters more effectively in the future.”