Cost of Colorado flood recovery begins to mount

Brush News Tribune – Throughout flood-ravaged communities, local, state and federal agencies are working together to restore normalcy and determine the extent of damage.


The repair estimate for state-owned roads and bridges alone is $430 million, according to Micki Trost, spokeswoman for the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.


The state’s estimated cost for operating the State Emergency Operations Center, providing resources to local jurisdictions, and obtaining air and ground support from the National Guard is $19.5 million, she said.


Air evacuations and other costs to the state for National Guard support amounted to $7.1 million of that total, Trost said. It costs about $8,300 an hour to keep a helicopter in the air, and during the emergency, the choppers flew about 440 hours while evacuating residents and completing other operations, for about $3.6 million of the total National Guard costs.


On Wednesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper hosted the first of what is expected to be weekly conference calls with state and local officials to discuss flood-recovery efforts.


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