70 school children stranded in Estes Park now back home

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Seventy Fort Collins elementary school students and their chaperones are back on dry land after three very rainy days and nights in Estes Park.

The kids from Linton Elementary spent a day longer than planned on their science field trip after floodwater’s prevented them from leaving town.

“We could hear the river and we knew it wasn’t good and everybody started crying,” said Cole Townsend, a Linton student. “We were all nervous.”

The flooded river forced the group to relocate from the YMCA camp where they were staying to a local church. Two buses finally picked up the students and school staff on Saturday morning.

“They were just happy to see us,” said one bus driver. “We walked into the church and they just started to applaud. It was a great feeling.”

The buses drove through Wyoming and then along Trail Ridge to reach Estes Park.

“Trail Ridge was an experience,” said the driver. “I don’t think any Poudre schools have been over Trail Ridge in a school bus so it was a first for a lot of us.”

Kristin Stolte, Linton’s principal, said it was an unforgettable experience for students and the school.

“Absolutely,” she said after parents had picked up their kids. “We’re gonna have T-shirts made: I survived Eco Week 2013. Flood in Estes Park.”