Submitting flood damage information benefits county and residents
Published on July 15, 2021
In response to the heavy rain and flooding that occurred in Weld County on June 28 through July 3, residents who haven’t reported damage to their homes or businesses are still encouraged to do so. Forty-seven responses have been received since the Weld County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) first requested information through the county’s social media platforms on July 7.
The information received by OEM can help the county gain a clearer picture of the damage caused by the storms. It can be utilized to update Weld County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, as well as be evaluated by OEM staff and municipal representatives to see how infrastructure (drainage, gutter systems, etc.) can be strengthened to reduce a storm’s impact moving forward.
“We want to document the storm, accurately record the damage that took place and identify ways that we can help the county and municipalities prevent issues in the future,” said Roy Rudisill, Weld County OEM Director. “Identifying issues allows us the ability to request mitigation grants from the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency to fix them so they don’t negatively impact residents. If we don’t get the information from the citizens, then we don’t have a good snapshot of how many homes and businesses were actually affected.”
Damage report submissions are a critical element in helping Weld County determine if severe weather events warrant a disaster declaration. While Rudisill said that the amount of uninsured damage from the storms is likely far too low for the county to request a disaster declaration from the state, he explained the damage assessment process was a critical component in helping the county and residents gain funding for repairs following the 2013 flood.
“In order to ask the Board of Commissioners to petition the state for a disaster declaration on our behalf, there would need to be at least 100 homes destroyed by flooding. We’re most likely not going to be anywhere close to that number with these storms,” he said. “However, reports from our residents are critical in providing an accurate damage assessment. Damage reports assisted our residents following the 2013 flood, and they will be important to have following these storms so we can work with our municipalities to mitigate the impact of future severe weather events.”
Residents with flood damage to their homes or businesses can submit damage reports using the Orion Damage Assessment Program. Anyone needing assistance documenting their damage can call OEM at (970) 304-6540.