Steamboat Springs Two firefighters and a brush truck from Steamboat Springs arrived in Boulder on Monday morning to join the major flood recovery efforts that have emergency responders still trying to locate more than 1,200 people who are unaccounted for.
Steamboat Fire Chief Mel Stewart said the local crew presumably is going to help clear trees and other debris in order to get roadways into devastated mountain communities back open.
“It’s satisfying when you can go and help a community that’s obviously in great need from a response standpoint,” Stewart said about sending the Steamboat personnel. “That’s what we’re in the business of doing.”
The death toll and the number of people who are unaccounted for continued to rise Monday morning.
The Denver Post reported that more than 17,000 homes have been damaged by the flooding and 1,502 have been destroyed.
The Post also reported that more than 2,100 people and 500 pets have been evacuated mostly by helicopter.
The floods mark the second major disaster on the Front Range that firefighters from Routt County have responded to this summer.
In June, firefighters from several local fire districts spent nearly a week helping to save homes threatened by the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs.
Stewart said sending local firefighters to a major disaster area in another part of the state provides the department with valuable experience.
“It gives our staff that experience they can get in a community and then bring it back to our community,” he said. “It’s not if, it’s when we have large events, then we’ve got people who have this type of experience.”
The two-man crew sent to Boulder includes Capt. Travis Wilkinson and firefighter Sawyer White, who are using a Type VI Engine.
Steamboat residents can keep up with news from their local fire department by following Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue on Facebook.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.
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