Time of need
Local family starts donation collection for victims of Colorado flooding
Imagine losing everything you had in a flood.
That’s what people in Colorado are currently experiencing with September’s flooding.
“I don’t think people really realize how devastating it is when it hits a canyon like that, because the water has nowhere to go,” said Angela Haskell of Winterset. “I know we have floods here, and it’s horrible, but we’re flatter, so it kind of disperses. There, it comes down like a wall and it just takes everything out.”
Haskell and her family are trying to help those who have lost so much by collecting canned good and nonperishable food items.
Donation boxes have been set up at Southwestern Community College (SWCC) in Osceola, Creston and Red Oak. Great Western Bank in Osceola is a drop-off site for donations, too.
Haskell is a SWCC student, and her mother Karen Samson is an Osceola resident. The family’s first load has already been driven to Colorado. A second load will be driven to the state in another week.
In Colorado, the natural disaster began Sept. 9 with a slow-moving cold front that stalled across the state. The cold front soon clashed with warm, humid monsoonal air coming in from the south. The result was heavy rain and intense flooding along the state’s front range from Colorado Springs north to Fort Collins.
As days went by, the situation intensified with Boulder County, Colo., being the worst hit. Flood waters have spread across a range of almost 200 miles with 17 counties affected by the disaster. Many roads and highways have been washed out and destroyed.
At least 1,750 people and 300 pets have been rescued by air and ground.
So far, eight people have died and six are still missing. Damages from the natural disaster are estimated at more than $1 billion.
Even though Haskell and her family are a couple of states away from the flooding in Colorado, the situation still hits close to home for them. They are collecting items in memory of family members who died in the July 31, 1976, Big Thompson Canyon flood in Colorado.
The Big Thompson flood is Colorado’s deadliest flash flood in recorded history with 143 deaths.
“We lost six people that year, so this is our way of giving back to the people who are suffering now,” Haskell said. “We may not have money to do anything financially, really, but we’re volunteering to drive the material goods out to the food banks, and also to the shelters out there.”
Recommended donations items are food, diapers, pet food and other animal supplies. Haskell said a lot of material goods and clothing have already been supplied to those in need.
She said she has been in contact with United Way and the Red Cross, and has followed their instructions on what to donate.
Haskell said she also has been communicating with the Animal Rescue League in Colorado.
“They have a lot of pets that are homeless, too, and they are asking for cat litter, wet pet food, leashes, crates, cat toys, dog toys, and we’re taking some of that out, too,” Haskell said. “That was on our list, and people have been generous with that, too.”
Haskell recommended, for money donations, people should give to a charity of their choice.
“We’re just kind of reaching across the border and showing them, just because we may not live in Colorado, we care about you. We still want to help,” Haskell said.