Gov. Hickenlooper announces additional $20 million for flood recovery efforts, declares disaster emergency for Clear Creek and Sedgwick counties, suspends regulations impacting emergency recovery efforts

Gov. John Hickenlooper 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 now 17 and the total amount of state funds made available so far is $26 million to pay for the flood response and recovery.

The order states:

“On Sept. 13, 2013, I declared a Disaster Emergency in 14 counties on account of flooding. Since that time, the affected areas received extensive additional rainfall. As of Sept. 18, 2013, the National Weather Service reported that 7-day rain totals have reached as high as 18.1 inches in Boulder County, 12.4 inches in Larimer County, 15.6 inches in Adams County, and 11.6 inches in El Paso County. Initial estimates of the casualties and property damage are as follows: six persons are deceased, 17,648 structures have been damaged, which includes 4,047 structures that have been destroyed, 30 bridges have been destroyed, and 20 others have been seriously damaged. As of 1100 on September 18, 2013, a total of 754 troops, 19 helicopters, 20 ground search-and-rescue teams, and 67 traffic-control points were operational.”

The order formalizes Hickenlooper’s earlier verbal declaration of a disaster emergency for Clear Creek and Sedgwick that had activated the State Emergency Operations Plan because of significant rainfall to that area.

Also, the order transfers a total of $26 million for flood response and recovery from the General Fund to the Disaster Emergency Relief Fund. The order states:

“I ordered that $6 million be transferred into the Disaster Emergency Fund. The estimated cost of disaster relief so far has been approximately $3.5 million per day, with estimates that 75% 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 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.”

Read the Executive Order.