Cleanup effort continues after flood takes at least 126 Boulder homes

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BOULDER, Colo. -- The first steps in what will be a massive cleanup took place in Boulder on Tuesday, even while others will still struggling to come to grips with the aftermath.

Kit Hollingshead, whose home was still flooding on Tuesday, is among that struggling multitude.

“The sewer system is somehow compromised,” Hollingshead said. “So I'm getting storm water in through my sewage system, and it's a coming up through my floor drains. It just won't stop.”

An army of Xcel energy crews and equipment were working around the clock to restore power and gas to the many still without it five days after the devastating floods began.

Many residents say there is little they can do but shrug.

“It's been very upsetting, but life goes on,” said Boulder resident Alvin Knott, whose home was flooded. “It’s just one of those acts of God, you know?"

At latest count Tuesday, there were at least 126 homes destroyed in Boulder County by the floods. Still, people like Mary Allen, whose home was flooded with mud and water, are trying to look on the bright side.

“We're so lucky compared to the people in Lyons or people who have left their houses in the mountains,” Allen said. “People who live on the dirt roads that don't have access to their houses … we are just so lucky."

Among those who Allen discussed were two young people who died on Linden Road, where flood waters were still rushing on Tuesday. The road was still closed to residents as of Tuesday evening.

“I'm a little sad for the neighborhood and the neighbors,” said Aerin Mueller, who was evacuated by  the floods. “It was, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in Boulder

As the cleanup continues to take place, so does the struggle to return to normal.

“I had it (my home) all dried out, and all my pumps were working,” Hollingshead said. “Then we lost power and everything just went to hell after that again.

“We’re just ready to be done with all of this.”