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JBU students recount destruction of Colorado floods

After almost two weeks marked by catastrophic floods, residents of Colorado are now able to start the recovery process.

According to The Denver Post, almost 6,000 Colorado families fled for safety from flooding and landslides that destroyed an estimated 1,900 homes.

Nbcnews.com reported that officials had confirmed the number of people unaccounted for in Colorado dropped from 82 to 60.

“I honestly didn’t believe that Colorado was getting rain,” said Courtney Gracely, junior psychology major.

Flooding did not directly affect Gracely’s parents, who are from Colorado Springs, Co. However, her grandparents, aunt and uncle, that live in Boulder, Co., were affected.

Her aunt and uncle had three feet of water in their basement, and between five and six feet of sewage in their rental.

Gracely’s grandparents had a foot of water in their basement. Her family spent hours and hours on end dealing with flooding.

“My mom sent me pictures from my grandma’s house and I couldn’t believe it,” said Gracely.

Fifteen highways remain closed as of Monday.

According to Gracely, the highways to the north were all shut down, stores were closed and needed flood equipment had to be brought in.

Gracely’s great uncle, who has a flood restoration business in Washington, sent flood equipment to her uncle.

“I heard that students at [University of Colorado] in Boulder were canoeing down the hallways,” said Gracely.

Gracely’s cousins were out of school for a week.

The field across from her grandparent’s house was now a lake and people were out rowing in their canoes.

Shane Buxman, junior history major, is from Greeley, Co., but his family wasn’t affected by the floods.

Buxman said it didn’t rain much in Greeley. The rivers just swelled and kept people isolated in the town.

Buxman blames deforestation from the fires near Fort Collins this summer.

“The soil was unable to hold water,” said Buxman.

Buxman pointed out that flooding of this caliber and scale hasn’t happened since 1976, when 143 people died.