Oklahomans With Colorado Connections Talk About Historic Flooding

Monday, September 16th 2013, 9:50 pm
By: News On 6

Army helicopters took to the skies, taking advantage of a break in the rain to look for people missing Colorado's historic flooding.

Seven people are confirmed dead and hundreds are missing. Boulder hasn't seen this much rain since the late 1800s. Some people have been stranded for five days now.

Colorado officials expect more people to be found after phone lines and Internet connections have been restored.

Over the weekend, 487 people were dropped off the missing persons list. We talked to two Oklahomans, whose lives have been changed by the massive floods.

"It started raining the very first afternoon, sprinkling lightly and it would rain and rain and rain," said Adair resident Lynette Hamill.

Hamill spent all of last week near Boulder visiting her sister. She watched as the floodwaters kept rising. She was worried she wouldn't make it home, because getting to the airport was quite the challenge.

"It was kind of frightening, because I didn't know what roads would be closed next," Hamill said.

Ben Johnson said, "It was remarkable the power that the water came through."

Johnson lives and works in Tulsa, but his parents, sister, and grandmother live in a small community north of Boulder.

"My mom's rethinking living in the woods," he said.

There's one road in our out of Drake, Colorado, and it was flooded.

"It went from the river rising pretty rapidly to all of the sudden it was just taking things with it," Johnson said.

He said the National Guard landed a Chinook and told residents they had one hour to get their things together and evacuate. Now, they've learned they may not be able to go home until next July.

"A lot of these people only got four or five pairs of clothes with them, and if you're talking 10 months, that doesn't really cut it long term," Johnson said.

Johnson is busy putting together care packages for his family, just to make it through the next couple of months. Through it all, he said, when you look at the big picture, he's grateful his family made it out safely.

"Makes you count your blessings, even when something tragic like that happens," he said.

If you would like to help Johnson make care packages for his family and friends impacted by the floods, you can email him at benj970@gmail.com.

Donations are also being accepted at Jackie Cooper Nissan at 9898 South Memorial.