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County demolishes homes already destroyed in September flood

Crews demolish home along Big Thompson River

Crews demolish home along Big Thompson River

DRAKE, Colo. — Thirteen homes in Larimer County — mainly along the Big Thompson River — received so much damage in the September 2013 Floods that the county is beginning to take them down, before spring runoff waters do it for them.

“We want to finish what Mother Nature began,” said building inspector Eric Fried. “Of the 13 some are being fixed by owners but another six must be destroyed so they don’t damage new bridges and roads which have been put in during the cleanup process.”

Margie and Leroy Rady have lived in the canyon 15 years. The couple is in their 80s and they have used their ‘nest egg’ to do repairs so they can stay. Thursday all they could do is wipe tears away watching the home next door—owned by Donna Covington—be demolished.

“It’s sad, really sad,” Leroy said. “Our home sits back about 20 feet further than Donna’s and we were spared the kind of foundation damage she suffered. But, right now we just had sand bags delivered so we can be ready for spring runoff which is supposed to be super heavy this year. We really want to know why the only way we can get some of what we spent back, is to show our financial statement. If we had money for repairs we wouldn’t need money that’s supposed to go to victims, which we are!”

As crews took the Covington home down in less than an hour, other neighbors also lamented over the loss of homes and lives in the flooding all over again.

Now they know the next danger is lurking on mountain tops just up river. When the weather heats up, everyone will know how repairs done to the roads and river bank, will hold up, when the water runs high in the Big Thompson again.