September 17, 2013

CWS Situation Report: Colorado Floods 2013 (U.S.)

Situation:

Continuing heavy rains that began the week of Sept. 8 continue to cause severe flooding in Colorado. Seven fatalities have been reported. Additionally, 218 persons have been injured and 648 are reported missing.
 
At this early stage 1,500 homes have been destroyed and another 17,500 are damaged, according to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management. The flooding along the North Fork Thompson River, the South Platte River and others waterways in the drainage system ranges from Fort Collins to Canon City, Colo.
 
Communities most severely affected include Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver. Other communities are affected by the flooding in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Washington and Weld counties. Approximately 12,000 persons have been evacuated from their communities.

CWS Response:

CWS Disaster Response Specialists are working with state, regional and local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, our member communions and other agencies to determine where CWS can help or will be needed.

CWS will be providing material resources, such as CWS Clean Up Buckets, Baby Care Kits, School Kits, Hygiene Kits and Blankets, as requested.

As the situation moves from immediate search and rescue efforts to long-term recovery work, CWS will respond to requests for training support as well as to requests for financial support to get long-term recovery committees organized and operating.

CWS also continues to monitor river conditions for additional flooding.

The lead CWS Emergency Response Specialist for this storm is Kuulei Funn, kfunn@cwsglobal.org, 808-226-6432

The other CWS Emergency Response Specialists who can be contacted to provide information are:

Joann Hale, jhale@cwsglobal.org, 917-705-3038

Sandra Kennedy-Owes, skowes@cwsglobal.org, 251-725-4262

Susanne Gilmore, sgilmore@cwsglobal.org, 785-477-7823

CWS communions and affiliated organizations are on alert and ready to help when and where needed. Shelters and feeding operations are up and operating and more will be set up as needed.  Extensive power outages are expected and sheltering may be required for extended periods. CWS and its partner organizations have personnel on standby and ready to go to work.

How to Help

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination/communion or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Donations may also be made online.  CWS thanks its member communions for the efforts to help restock our warehouses with material goods, such as CWS Clean Up Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Kits and School Kits.

During disaster such as this now is the time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. There are already reports of heaps of used clothing piling up in Colorado: clothing and other materials that do little to restore the dignity of survivors.  Remember, financial help is best. If you do have supplies that may be of help, contact a CWS Emergency Response Specialist to see if the materials can be used and where.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.