‘Did your house make it?’ Tough questions after a tough return home for Grand Lake

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GRAND LAKE, Colo. (KDVR) — Residents of Grand Lake are slowly returning back to town on Wednesday, one week after a forced evacuation due to the East Troublesome wildfire. 

Steve Kudron, the community’s mayor, said those living on the west side of Hwy 34 should be able to return after further damage assessment.

“You just sort of feel like you’re in a movie,” said Katie Beeson, the owner of Mountain Market in the town of Grand Lake. 

Mountain Market is one of the only grocery stores in town and as residents come back. Those who are returning are stopping by to pick up the essentials, including anything that had been left in a fridge or freezer when power was cut. 

For Beeson, working the register has been a roller coaster of emotions.

“It’s just a weird strange feeling and every morning we wake up to somebody new that’s a friend that lost everything,” said Beeson. “People walk in the store and the first question everyone asks is, ‘Did your house make it?’ You brace yourself to find out if their house made it.”

Grocery shopper Dick Franklin, who arrived back in town early Wednesday, visited Mountain Market for bottled water. Like many others in town he still doesn’t have internet or safe drinking water from the tap. He’s just thankful he has a home.

“It’s mystifying,” said Franklin. “This little town I have known for 35 years is still standing.”

Mountain Market is offering discounts for all the residents of Grand Lake. The market is still working to restock shelves after having to throw out most of the perishables from the power outage. 

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