Water main break, flooding cut off small Colorado town from water

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ILIFF, Colo. -- For more than a week, the northeastern Colorado town of Iliff has been partially cut off by running water, yet also cut off from running water.

"It is extremely ironic and very frustrating," Mayor Julie Dunlap said.

The swollen South Platte River has been rushing over a major road into town for weeks, then the town suffered a water main break beneath the South Platte nine days ago.

"It feels like we're going into our 900th day," said Nate Lauer, who lives in town.

"Horrible," said Aiden Trevino, who has been spending his summer vacation helping his mother fill water jugs nearly every day since school let out last week.

"We were going to set up the swimming pool," Trevino said.

Residents have been able to pick up and refill drinking water at the town hall thanks to large bladders provided by the state, but many have been driving more than 10 miles for a shower and to do laundry.

"They told us seven to 10 days and that was over a week ago," Iliff resident TJ Roybal said. "I don't know what's being done to fix the problem but I sure hope they're doing something because it's pretty frustrating."

The crews trying to fix the problem have been slowed down by all of the flood water outside the banks of the South Platte.

Dunlap believes it will be another week before they are able to tap into the main line and bring a temporary line over a bridge into town.

Fixing the permanent line beneath the river will take much longer.

"You know, it could be a couple of months before the water recedes enough for us to begin that work," Dunlap said.

Though the temporary line will bring relief, it could also bring water restrictions.

"We're hoping that pressure is not an issue, but it certainly could be," Dunlap said.

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