Evergreen business feels ‘lucky’ as cleanup after flooding starts

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EVERGREEN, Colo. -- While the water has come down a bit, Sunday night Cactus Jack’s Eatery took on more than a foot of mud and flood water from the Evergreen Lake Dam, which is just behind the popular bar & grill.

The water from Bear and Little Cub Creeks has been rolling through the mountain town with fury none have ever seen.

“I’ve lived here for 37 years and never seen anything like this, “ said Eileen Orteli. “This is so unreal we are just lucky not to have the kind of problems others are facing, our homes are soaked a bit if you live along the river, but no homes or lives have been lost here.”

In the parking lot across from the historic Little Bear, a lone Xcel Energy truck stands, with a huge arm holding up the main power pole for downtown Evergreen, the bank beneath the pole is washed away.

At Jack’s, friends have been helping Gary Mitchell, the owner, get liquor, fixtures, and other artifacts out of the popular bar.

“I only had about three inches Friday, but last night was a disaster,” said Mitchell.

Along Upper Bear Creek Road, which winds around thru the mountains, homes have been under siege for nearly a week.

Water is closing in on many of the million dollar homes in the area. One homeowner has good spirits about the destruction, putting up this no swimming sign up next to a 6-pack of Coors light on the entryway to Meadowbrook Lane.

Roads are eroding under the heavy flooding, fences have been blown down, and only the ducks who normally live in the original Evergreen Lake are enjoying the new watering holes.

Upstream about three miles, they are all hanging out at the new lake formed in open space filled with lots of grass and other stuff they seem to like.

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