Gov. Hickenlooper, Sens. Udall and Bennet secure FEMA assistance to mitigate stream hazards

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the state and local governments for eligible costs to reduce hazards in streams caused by the September floods that pose an immediate threat to lives and property.

This is a significant step in the state’s flood recovery efforts to help prepare for the impending spring runoff. Hickenlooper spoke with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in Washington, D.C., earlier this week about the funding, and shared concerns from state and local officials that there is significant risk of damage from future flooding if the hazards are not removed. The governor also hosted meetings in Denver with FEMA and White House staff on this issue, and the governor’s staff traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for these funds.   

“FEMA’s decision to help cover the cost of removing hazards from streams will help prevent future disaster and aid the state’s recovery efforts,” Hickenlooper said. “We are grateful to FEMA for allocating the resources needed to take this step to protect Coloradans in the flooded areas, many of whom are still recovering.”

The Governor’s Office worked with U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and other members of the Colorado congressional delegation to secure the funding.

“Working as a team, we’ve made great strides rebuilding since September’s flood. These funds, which I was proud to fight for in Washington, will help reduce the chances that spring runoff and rain do not cause tragic landslides or result in more destructive floods,” Udall said. “This is welcome news for Coloradans along the Front Range, but it will not address all of our remaining needs. I will keep fighting to secure the resources communities ravaged by September’s flood need to address both immediate dangers and to fully rebuild.”

“This is a huge relief to Coloradans across the Front Range,” Bennet said. “Several Colorado counties face the prospect of further property destruction when snow begins to melt in a matter of weeks, swelling streams clogged with hazards, and creating a high risk of new flooding. We’re glad to work with FEMA and state and federal agencies to support local communities in their efforts to remove this debris as quickly as possible, in order to avoid more destruction this spring.”

FEMA’s initial focus on removing hazards from streams will be in Larimer and Boulder counties; other impacted counties are eligible to apply to FEMA for assistance as local officials define threats and identify sites.

Clear Creek Ranger District Pile Burning Update for Today

U.S. Forest Service firefighters plan to take advantage of existing and forecasted snow accumulation to burn slash piles in the Yankee Hill fuels project area, Units 64 and 65, located south of Apex Road, approximately two miles northwest of Columbine Campground in Gilpin County. Ignition may begin today and continue throughout the week as conditions allow.

Conditions are evaluated each day of the burn to determine if ignition will take place. Wind, fuel moisture, staffing and amount of snow cover all play a factor in where and whether ignition occurs.  

Due to the topography of the area pile burning activities may be visible from Apex Road, Central City, Black Hawk, and the Peak-to-Peak Highway.

So far this winter, Boulder and Clear Creek Ranger District firefighters have completed 289 acres of burning in the West Magnolia, Yankee Hill, James Creek and Sugarloaf fuel treatment areas, including 3,529 (data corrected) hand piles and 158 machine piles.

To receive updates on pile burning activities in the Boulder Ranger District area visit or contact Maribeth Pecotte at 303-541-2532.

Fire Restriction and Ban Informational Map Updated

The fire restriction and ban map has been updated on the COEmergency website.  This information is reported by local county emergency managers to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as a resource to those living and visiting Colorado.

The current map is located at

Emergency managers can contact their Regional Field Manager and Micki Trost to submit updates to the fire restriction map and information page. 

State submits $62.8 million flood recovery plan to HUD


Office of Gov. John Hickenlooper

Val Beck,         

Gov. John Hickenlooper submitted today the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Partial Action Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

The State must submit the Partial Action Plan before receiving the $62.8 million in CDBG-DR Funds that HUD allocated to flood impacted communities in Colorado. The money will go toward needs not addressed through other sources of federal assistance, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“We are submitting our action plan 30 days in advance of our deadline in an effort to expedite the money coming to Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “The CDBG-DR funds are critical to the recovery effort. Our Action Plan will allow homeowners, businesses and communities to prioritize their unmet needs and apply to the State based on those community priorities.”

Colorado’s CDBG-DR Partial Action Plan provides for grant and loan programs that will be available to flood impacted communities in housing, infrastructure and economic development. The initial allocation of the $62.8 million was announced during a December 2013 visit to Colorado from HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

In a letter to Donovan, Hickenlooper thanked him and the Colorado Congressional Delegation for their “partnership and leadership” in bringing these important disaster recovery funds to Colorado. Hickenlooper acknowledged in the letter the public’s valuable feedback incorporated into the Partial Action Plan, “Coloradans are resilient and their commitment to building back stronger and better is reflected in this Action Plan.”

HUD requires that 50 percent of the CDBG-DR funds benefit low- to moderate-income households and that 80 percent of the funds be distributed in Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties. The remaining 20 percent can be distributed among the other 11 counties in the September Presidential Declaration.  

HUD has up to 45 days to approve Colorado’s Initial Partial Action Plan, making funds available sometime in April. The Partial Action Plan, eligibility requirements and the application process for these funds can be found online at

Recertification for the Flood Recovery

Recertification is a process FEMA uses to identify continued eligibility for temporary housing assistance.

To remain eligible for Direct Temporary Housing Assistance, disaster survivors must demonstrate a continued need for disaster assistance and be able to show progress towards a permanent housing plan. Housing advisors from FEMA visit survivors on site to confirm that they’re making a diligent effort to obtain permanent housing. These interviews are done every 30 days for renters, and every 60 days for owners; however, this may change depending on the circumstances of each case.

The FEMA Housing Advisor helps the occupants identify a realistic and achievable housing plan, guides them towards accomplishing that plan and helps them coordinate with appropriate agencies in order to expedite its completion.

Floodplain Management Training Course Scheduled for March 10-13

Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and Colorado Association of Storm Flood Managers (CASFM) are hosting a four day floodplain management training course in Colorado.

Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will be held March 10-13, 2014 in Longmont. Click Here for the Flyer Click Here for Registration .

This course is designed to provide an organized training opportunity for local officials responsible for administering their local floodplain management ordinance. The course will focus on the NFIP and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, ordinance administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance.

The Association of State Flood Plain Managers (ASFPM) Certified Flood Manager (CFM) Exam will be offered on March 14. The CFM Exam requires a separate registration through ASFPM. You will need to apply for the exam and pay ASFPM directly. Follow this link to register for the CFM Exam:

You do not have to take the course in order to take the exam, but the course will provide a good overview of the topics on the exam. Please complete the exam registration with ASFPM at least a few weeks before the exam, because if ASFPM does not have your registration and payment processed, you will not be able to take the exam.

FEMA supports recovery efforts in Evans

Since the September 2013 floods, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided nearly $6.6 million in Individual Assistance to Evans residents and obligated more than $1.4 million in Public Assistance to the City of Evans. At the same time, the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided more than $3.6 million in low-interest loans to 46 Evans homeowners and nine business owners.

As a part of its outreach to the citizens of Evans, FEMA Individual Assistance has provided:
  • Transitional Sheltering Assistance for 65 households
  • More than $1 million in Other Needs Assistance for nearly 200 households
  • Nearly $4.9 million in repair and replacement money for 248 households
  • More than $634,000 in rental assistance for 336 households
  • Manufactured housing units for 25 households
  • Maximum grants of $31,900 to 133 households
FEMA Public Assistance has obligated $1,437,928 for seven projects in Evans, including major road repairs and emergency measures to protect lives and property. The state and local share is $479,309, bringing the total of $1,917,237.

Projects that have been obligated include:
  • Repairs to sections of Brantner Road, Industrial Parkway, 40th Street, 49th Street, Trinidad Street, Salida Court, and several other roads
  • Overtime pay for city workers during the flooding, and salaries and lodging for a city-hired team of disaster response experts
Six additional City of Evans project worksheets are in process for a total of $2,967,313. (Federal share: $2,223,579) This includes:
  • Repairing extensive damage to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and at least $1 million for debris removal and repairs to Riverside Park
  • Funding for repairs to the Riverside Park athletic fields, playground equipment, walking trail, parking area and other facilities
In addition to the monetary assistance offered to the City of Evans:
  • FEMA Public Assistance meets weekly with Evans Public Works employees and has set up an office in the Evans City Hall.
  •  FEMA National Flood Insurance Program specialists as well as the state NFIP coordinator and state mapping coordinator met with the City of Evans to discuss floodplain management and the city’s recent adoption of the Weld County Preliminary Maps. The State and FEMA will continue to work with city officials by providing additional training and technical assistance to support their floodplain management program.
  • FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons are working with Recovery Groups such as Weld Recovers to address the unmet needs of not only the citizens of Evans, but Weld County as well.
  • FEMA senior leadership held meetings with the City of Evans to discuss the Riverside Recreation area, a landfill discovered in the Riverside area, and two mobile home parks within the city.
Although not all of the city’s needs can be addressed by FEMA programs, Tom McCool, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer, said in a letter addressed to Evans City Manager Aden Hogan, “I regret I do not have the authority to support all of Evans’ needs, but that does not mean every member of the FEMA team here in Colorado is not fully invested in bringing every resource the Stafford Act authorizes to bear in support of Evans.”
  • FEMA and the SBA have also provided assistance to the rest of Weld County. Including the assistance to Evans, Weld County has received:
  • More than $10 million in Individual Assistance, including nearly $7.5 million for repair and replacement money for 757 households
  • Maximum grants of $31,900 to 146 households in Weld County.
  • Transitional Sheltering Assistance for 106 households
  • Manufactured housing units for 30 households
  • More than $1.1 million in rental assistance for 636 households
  • Nearly $1.5 million in Other Needs Assistance for 342 households
  • Nearly $10 million from the SBA including more than $8.7 million in low-interest home loans and nearly $1.2 million in business loans in Weld County
  • Nearly $4.5 million in obligations from FEMA Public Assistance, including:
    • More than $3.2 million in road and bridge repairs 
    • More than $900,000 in protective measures 
    • More than $240,000 in public utility repairs 
    • More than $22,000 in debris removal
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at The social media links are provided for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management supports the needs of local government and partners with them before, during and after a disaster and to enhance preparedness statewide by devoting available resources toward prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery, which will ensure greater resiliency of our communities. For more information: and

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants can go to or call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339).

DHSEM Announces New Mitigation and Recovery Staff Member Kerry Webster

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is excited to announce a new member of Mitigation and Recovery team. Kerry Webster recently joined the team as a Mitigation Specialist. She will be working to support our local and state partners with all aspects of mitigation including project development, multi-hazard planning, and grant management.

Webster has been involved in emergency management since 2001. Her previous experience as a structural and wildland firefighter, and most recently in wildland-urban interface fire planning and mitigation, makes her a well placed addition to the team. She has responded on all-hazard incidents, including tornado recovery and the recent floods. She earned her undergraduate degree in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology and her master’s degree in Geography at CU Boulder, focusing on disturbance ecology. Kerry has worked for the Colorado State Forest Service, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and Anchor Point, LLC.

Avalanche Information and Resources Before You Head to the Backcountry

Before you head out into the backcountry please use these resources to check the avalanche conditions and to obtain safety information.

Online Avalanche Information and Resources

Avalanche Forecast Map from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)

Colorado Avalanche Information Center website

CAIC Twitter Accounts

Steamboat & Flat Tops

Front Range
Vail & Summit County
Sawatch Range
Grand Mesa
Northern San Juan
Southern San Juan
Sangre de Cristo


CAIC Resources

READYColorado Information

Avalanche information is available at on the Hazards tab.  Visit the Avalanche page for information on what to do before, during of after an avalanche.

Public hearings set for HUD Action Plan on flood recovery

Media Advisory from the Office of Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper today encouraged people in flood-impacted communities to attend public hearings this week to comment on the state’s Action Plan for Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program funding. The Action Plan outlines how the state proposes to allocate $62.8 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to flood-impacted communities.

“These dollars will not make people and communities going through flood recovery whole, but they are important in bolstering the state’s recovery efforts,” Hickenlooper said. “The money will help counties, municipalities, special districts, housing authorities and businesses, including the agricultural community, address important needs in the areas of housing, infrastructure and economic development.”

Colorado’s CDBG-DR Action Plan addresses grant and loan programs that will be available to communities in the areas of housing, infrastructure and economic development. Stakeholder meetings were held last month in Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties. Feedback from the stakeholders meetings were incorporated into a Draft Action Plan.

HUD requires the Draft Action Plan to be open to public comment for seven days. Public hearings are being held to enhance and encourage public participation during this comment period. The public is encouraged to review the plan and can provide public comment between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014.

The funds, announced during a November 2013 visit from national HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, will go toward needs not addressed through other sources of federal assistance, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Public comments will also be accepted through the CDBG-DR website, and by email at

Comments will be incorporated into a final draft that will be submitted to HUD for approval in April.

The schedule for the public hearings is as follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

4:30 - 6 p.m.
Location: Manitou Springs Memorial Hall, 606 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 80829

Wednesday, Feb. 12

Noon - 2 p.m.
Location: Estes Park Town Hall, Board Chambers, 170 MacGregor Ave., Estes Park, 80517

7 - 9 p.m.
Location: Boulder County Clerk & Recorder Office, Houston Room, 1750 33rd St.,
Boulder, 80301

Thursday, Feb. 13

6 - 9 p.m.
Location: Evans City Hall, Cottonwood Banquet Room, 1100 37th St., Evans, 80620

Media Release: Executive Order Declares Disaster Due to Extreme Weather, Eases Commercial Transportation Rules to Increase Propane Delivery

Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed an Executive Order that declares a disaster emergency due to extreme winter weather and authorizes a temporary exception to the hours-of-service regulations for commercial motor vehicles used in the transportation of propane.

The governor’s order says:

“Temperatures in Colorado have dropped below zero for consecutive weeks. The recent extreme winter weather has caused an emergency situation by significantly reducing the availability of propane and impeding the delivery of necessary propane to many areas of Colorado. The extreme winter weather caused the cost of propane to skyrocket across the country and significantly reduced the supply. The commercial vehicle industry is impeded from continuing statewide propane fuel delivery operations for winter heating purposes. As a result, many Coloradans are left without a mechanism to heat their homes.”

Federal and state law sets the hours which commercial vehicle drivers may operate. “Those restrictions are impeding the commercial vehicle industry from delivering fuel to Coloradans in need,” the order says.

In general, natural gas carriers may allow their drivers to be on duty for a total of 14 hours of which only 11 hours can be drive time before requiring the driver to take 10 hours of rest. Without 10 hours of rest the driver is not allowed to drive any commercial vehicle or be allowed to perform any safety sensitive function for the carrier.

A driver who works every day of the week is allowed to be on duty for a total of 70 hours every eight consecutive days before they are required to log 34 hours of off-duty time. A driver with weekends off, is allowed to be on duty for only 60 hours every seven consecutive days before they are required to log 34 hours of off duty time.

“The provisions of (applicable state law) are hereby suspended to the extent that they prevent the delivery of necessary propane winter heating fuel to distribution points within Colorado,” the governor’s order says.

The order allowing the exception shall not be construed as an exemption from C.R.S. Title 42, Traffic Code, as it relates to general motor vehicle safety, state and federal financial responsibility requirements, commercial driver’s license requirements, size and weight regulations, or any federal motor carrier safety regulations not specifically identified in the order. The exception shall also not be construed as an exemption from 49 CFR 392.4, which prohibits ill or fatigued drives from operating a motor vehicle.

“Propane shortages across the country have stretched Colorado propane supplies thin,” said Baron Glassgow, executive director of the Colorado Propane Gas Association. “On behalf of the Colorado propane industry and the thousands of customers who rely on propane to heat their homes, and fuel their businesses and fleets, we are grateful to Gov. Hickenlooper for issuing the emergency declaration providing hours of service relief for the propane industry.”

The order will remain in effect through March 7, 2014. View the full Executive Order

#COFlood: Community Development Block Grant Public Hearings Need Your Participation

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated $62.8M dollars in Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) to the State of Colorado to assist in a portion of flood disaster related costs. This grant is designed to assist with a small amount of those needs not being met through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds or other federal funds. To secure these HUD funds, the state must submit an action plan to HUD detailing a proposed allocation of these funds based on community priority. These funds will only address a small portion of the unmet need in the following categories: Housing, Economic Development and Infrastructure.

The state hosted the first series of meetings January 21-24, 2014, with local, state and federal partners and staff, housing authorities, business owners and service agencies who are working on flood recovery on behalf of your community. Those meetings addressed the proposed distribution of Colorado’s $62.8 million.

On February 11 - 13, 2014, the Governor’s Recovery Office, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the Colorado Department of Public Safety are hosting four public hearings to review and discuss the CDBG-DR process and the state’s draft Action Plan which will be available on Monday, February 10 at

The following are the dates and times of the upcoming hearings:

CDBG-DR Public Hearing Schedule

Tuesday, February 11
Manitou/Colorado Springs
4:30 - 6 p.m.
Manitou Springs Memorial Hall
606 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Wednesday, February 12
Estes Park
Noon - 2 p.m.
Estes Park Town Hall, Board Chambers
170 MacGregor Ave.
Estes Park, 80517

Wednesday, February 12
7 - 9 p.m.
County Clerk & Recorder Office, Houston Room
1750 33rd Street
Boulder, CO

Thursday, February 13
6 - 9 p.m.
Evans City Hall, Cottonwood Banquet Room
1100 37th Street
Evans, CO 80620

Due to the expedited nature of the CDBG-DR program and the extremely limited amount of financial resources available, your participation at the hearing closest to your community is important. Citizens wanting to provide public comment at the hearings will be required to sign up upon arrival, with speakers going in the order they sign in.

As part of the state's Citizen Participation Plan (CPP), citizens are encouraged to review the Action Plan and provide feedback and comments. The Action Plan will be available for viewing on the state’s CDBG-DR website starting on Monday, February 10 with comments on the Action Plan being accepted through Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

To view the Action Plan, go to:

To provide comments online, go to:

Thank you for your time and participation in this important process.

Media Release: Visit Ouray Colorado for Rocky Road - Shope Ouray Weekend


Saturday February 8, 2014 and Sunday February 9, 2014

The recent closure of Red Mountain Pass due to a massive rock slide has given local residents a taste of what life was like in this tiny mountain town not too many years ago. There was a period of time in Ouray after the mines closed and before the creation of the Ouray Ice Park when it was so quiet in the winter that local children could safely sled across Main Street with little concern about traffic. Many businesses on Main Street closed for the season and many nights it was difficult to find an open restaurant. Fortunately, today the Ouray Hot Springs Pool is open year-round, restaurants and shops are open, special events happen every week, and the Ouray Ice Park and Ironton Nordic Ski area have made Ouray just as fun and accessible in the winter as in summer.

Main Street Ouray has been very quiet recently with traffic traveling over alternate routes to Red Mountain Pass. The closure on Highway 550 has also temporarily cut Ouray off from our sister city, Silverton. For more than 100 years the residents of Silverton and Ouray have recognized the necessity of working together and supporting each other while working and enjoying life in these high mountains.

Workers from each community and many from CDOT have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to stabilize loose rock, and Red Mountain Pass is now open for two hours each morning and two hours in the evening. Local rock climbers and mountain guides from Rigging for Rescue have applied their mountaineering skills to access the steep cliffs where the rock slide occurred. A helicopter from Silverton Mountain that is usually lifting skiers up to backcountry powder glades was made available for lifting heavy steel nets, which were bolted to the mountainside to prevent further rock fall. Crews worked long hours to successfully complete the work before the arrival of a winter storm. Just hours before the first snowflakes began to fall the Colorado Department of Transportation announced that the road is reopened, albeit with limited one lane travel.

Even with the road partially open, Ouray and Silverton are still feeling the impact of the road closure. Businesses in both communities have reported a substantial drop in business since the road was closed in mid-January. A typical day in January sees 2,100 vehicles crossing Red Mountain Pass between the two communities, and many travelers make the choice to stop in town or even spend the night. Cutting those numbers to zero has major repercussions for Main Street.

 The Good News

The good news is that Ouray is still easily accessible from the north, as is Silverton from the south. Even the detour over Lizard Head Pass and Highway 145 only adds about an hour of travel time from Durango and follows a spectacular portion of the San Juan Scenic Byway. Visitors to Ouray always comment about the special treatment they receive during the winter season and how appreciative people in Ouray are to see them. While we look forward to planning a grand reopening party for Highway 550 with our neighbors in Silverton soon, we hope to see our regional visitors back in town much sooner.

The Ouray Chamber Resort Association and the City of Ouray are promoting this upcoming weekend – February 8th & 9th as a “Rocky Road - Shop Ouray Weekend.” This is the perfect time to invite friends from Montrose or Grand Junction (or anywhere else) to meet at the Hot Springs Pool, to visit one of Ouray's delightful breakfast shops for coffee and a treat, to visit the Ouray Ski Hill and apr├Ęs ski at a Ouray restaurant, or buy a sled and make some trips down Vinegar Hill. (But don't sled down Main Street; there is more traffic than in the 1980's!) The San Juan Mountains in the winter are like no other place on earth. Take a few hours, or a whole weekend, and enjoy them during the “Rocky Road - Shop Ouray Weekend.” We look forward to seeing you in Ouray soon.

Here are just a few ways you can enjoy Ouray this weekend:

  • Invite your friends from Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Telluride, Norwood and beyond to meet you for a dip in the Hot Springs Pool.
  • Get your morning coffee fix from your favorite coffee shop on Main Street.
  • Splurge for a dinner out.
  • Visit your local grocery or hardware store for your essentials.
  • Shop early for a special gift for a Valentine, birthday, or graduation.
  • Take a "staycation" and treat yourself to a night at hotel or B & B.
  • Schedule a much needed spa day or massage.
  • Finally fulfill your dream of learning to ice climb!
  • Buy a sled and join the kids on Vinegar Hill.
  • Treat yourself to that beautiful piece of art or jewelry - you are worth it!
  • Fill up your gas tank in town.
  • Purchase a special treat for a teacher, neighbor or civil servant.
  • Give your favorite bartender or server an extra tip.
  • Visit a shop or restaurant you have never been to before.
  • Organize your own brewery, pub and restaurant crawl in town.
  • Make a donation to your favorite local non-profit organization.
  • Share photos of your Ouray life on social media and encourage your friends and relatives to come for a visit.