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Governor: Colorado disaster relief costing $3.5 million a day
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Governor: Colorado disaster relief costing $3.5 million a day

This is what used to be a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 outside of Estes Park. (Photo by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall)
This is what used to be a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 outside of Estes Park. (Photo by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall)
Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday signed an executive order for an additional $20 million for flood-related efforts, declared a disaster emergency due to the flooding for Clear Creek and Sedgwick counties, and authorized state agencies to suspend provisions of any regulatory statute for state business in coping with the emergency.

The total number of affected counties from flooding is officially listed at 17 and the total amount of state funds made available so far is $26 million to pay for the flood response and recovery.

“I ordered that $6 million be transferred into the Disaster Emergency Fund," the governor wrote in the order. "The estimated cost of disaster relief so far has been approximately $3.5 million per day, with estimates that 75 percent of the funds ordered had been expended as of Sept. 16. As extensive relief efforts continue, I find that the $6,000,000 that was originally ordered is insufficient to pay for the flood response and recovery.”

Hickenlooper’s order authorizes state agencies to suspend the provisions of any state regulatory statute that would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.

The order further states:

“As a result of the recent flooding, Colorado’s transportation infrastructure has been significantly compromised, limiting the ability of the citizens of Colorado to access their homes, businesses and farms and negatively impacting our ability to provide necessary goods and services to the hardest hit counties. The severity of the damage to the transportation infrastructure, taken together with the brevity of time before winter weather conditions set in, requires extraordinary measures to assist in the reconstruction and repair of Colorado’s transportation infrastructure.

“The flooding has also damaged businesses and hindered their ability to provide their communities with essential goods and services including food and other daily necessities.  Extraordinary measures are necessary to reopen food service businesses promptly in a manner that does not compromise food safety but also recognizes that the rules and regulations in normal times might be unduly burdensome under the circumstances.”
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