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People look for volunteers as flood damage totals $2 billion

People look for volunteers as flood damage totals $2 billion

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - It will cost $2 billion dollars to clean up Colorado according to a catastrophe risk modeling firm.

Eqecat, Inc. assess damages from natural and man-made disasters through technology and computer models. It added up damages from homes, businesses and infrastructure across the state after the recent storms.

Shannon Murphy knows firsthand that flood cleanup is overwhelming and exhausting.

"It sucks," said Murphy standing in her tenant's empty apartment. The tenant was forced out of his home temporarily when water started spraying out of a crack in his wall.

"We are in the process of trying to figure out why this water is here. Up until yesterday you could go fishing here," said Murphy gesturing to a hole in the floor where water used to be visible a few inches from the surface.

It's a new reality for Murphy and people across Colorado. Eqecat surveyed destruction in 17 counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Pueblo, Sedgewick, Washington and Weld counties.

Floods destroyed 1,500 homes statewide and damaged 17,500 homes. More than 10,000 people have been displaced from their homes.  It estimates the total cost for the damage and living expenses for people displaced by the flood is $900 million.  It will cost around $20,000 to restore each home damaged in the floods.

It also tallied up damages to businesses and infrastructure. It included physical damage as well as losses in production from absent or distract employees and detours because of damaged roads. The total cost was $1 billion.

The damage across Colorado adds up to $2 billion. Eqecat compared the costs to other recent disasters. Superstorm Sandy left $50 billion in damage in New Jersey and New York.

Shannon Murphy manages Fountain Creek Apartments. She was overwhelmed by devastation and the work left to be done in some of her tenants' apartments.

The rain has stopped but Murphy is still worried about flooding. She's concerned about her building and other apartment buildings along El Paso Boulevard because of Fountain Creek in their backyards. 

Sediment has raised water levels in Fountain Creek as much as 7 feet near the apartments.

She said her tenants were feeling "very stressed" and "very nervous and scared."

Murphy hopes an army of volunteers and thousands of sandbags can keep the water at bay temporarily until a permanent plan is underway to fix the creek.

If you're interested in helping properties on El Paso Boulevard along Fountain Creek sandbag, contact Murphy's office at 719-685-1178.

For Eqecat's complete findings, click here: http://www.eqecat.com/catwatch/colorado-floods-likely-to-incur-economic-cost-greater-than-2-billion-2013-09-19/

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