‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

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‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

Residents look for answers to debris flows, which could last years
La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt talks with Melvin Smith, who lives adjacent to Pines Townhomes, on Monday in front of his home. Smith has been without propane or electricity since July 24, when debris flows ripped through the area north of Durango.
A sign saying “Help Us Please” is held by a duct-taped dummy near a debris-flow area Monday at Pines Townhomes north of Durango.
Bill Vanderbur surveys the living room of his parents’ Pines Townhomes home that was hit by debris flows on July 17 and 24, filling the home with about 4 feet of mud and water.

‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt talks with Melvin Smith, who lives adjacent to Pines Townhomes, on Monday in front of his home. Smith has been without propane or electricity since July 24, when debris flows ripped through the area north of Durango.
A sign saying “Help Us Please” is held by a duct-taped dummy near a debris-flow area Monday at Pines Townhomes north of Durango.
Bill Vanderbur surveys the living room of his parents’ Pines Townhomes home that was hit by debris flows on July 17 and 24, filling the home with about 4 feet of mud and water.

‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

Bruce Hamer, part owner of Hamer & Sons Construction, uses an excavator Monday to remove mud from next to the home of Marge and Gene Vanderbur. The Vanderburs’ home in Pine Townhomes was hit by debris flows July 17 and 24, filling the home with about 4 feet of mud and water.

‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

The downstairs bathroom of the home of Marge and Gene Vanderbur was filled with about 4 feet of water and mud after a July 24 debris flow. On Monday, about 18 inches of mud remained in the room.

‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

Butch Knowlton, center, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, talks with Pine Townhomes residents and county commissioners on Monday during a tour of the area devastated by flooding July 24.
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