Flood victims dig out after massive hail storm in Fremont County

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 18:46:20-04

Several people in Fremont County spent the day Tuesday digging out after heavy rain and hail flooded their homes and businesses.   Crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation used heavy equipment to shovel away truckloads of mud and hail that overtook the banks of Chandler Creek near Highway 115 west of Florence.

That flooding damaged Steven Talent’s house.

“It sounded like a loud explosion and I came out to look. What it was, was about 5 foot of debris just floating outside the house,” he said.

The surge of hail and debris had pushed a large dumpster into the wall of the house. The force of the flood waters crumpled a swing set and sent water pouring into the house.

“With no renters insurance, we’re gonna have to replace everything pretty much downstairs,” he said. “I’m kind of just at stage one right now; we’ll do what we can.”

Across the highway,  that same flood washed away a retirement dream for Mason Parsaye and his wife Ann Aldrich. Their vineyard is now a muddy field.

“We’d just gotten the grapes really established, we didn’t hardly have to do any care with them except the pruning and so is just gone,” Aldrich said. “It’s kind of heartbreaking.”

The flood waters also drenched the farmhouse on the property and the debris pusher a camper on their property several feet.
Ann said they weren’t in the home during the storm. In a way, she said that almost made it easier to handle.

“We’re safe and sound and it’s dirt,” she said. “It’s dirt and wood and I don’t know what, but this isn’t going to make or break us.”

Farther west, a clogged storm drain also sent water and mud pouring into Big Burger World in Canon City.  Manager Kirby Eacker posted a message on Facebook asking for help. Volunteers showed up by the dozens.

“Within probably an hour, I had 20 to 30 people here asking what can I do and it was like oh, I don’t even know what to tell you to do yet, I’m not that prepared.”

She spent the morning cleaning all of her equipment. Thanks to all the hard work, the eatery is ready to open for hungry customers on Wednesday.
Kirby said she will need to do a little shopping first.

“We lost the mop bucket,  that was the casualty.”

The Red Cross is helping the Talent family. Steven added that some friends at their church also started a go fund me page to collect donations.