Monthly Archives: September 2013

Max’s Journal 9/18/2013

By Max R. Weller

Thanks to my friends in Longmont, CO for hosting me for six nights during the deluge. Always a welcome relief from Boulder’s homeless drama!

I returned to my campsite yesterday afternoon and unrolled my camping gear (the tarp I use as a ground cover is on the outside of the whole bundle), which had sat undisturbed since Wednesday morning of last week, and was very pleased to find that it wasn’t nearly as wet as I’d thought it might be. At least 12″ of rain had fallen on it since the time I stashed it in a secure location; thankfully, no floodwaters reached my campsite due to an adjacent berm. I spread my stuff out to dry for about four hours in the afternoon sun, which did its job of drying and deodorizing sleeping bags and blankets. No need to haul anything down to a laundromat. Many times during past winters, when several inches of snow has fallen with temps around the freezing point, my gear has been thoroughly soaked from the slush which seems to find its way into every nook of my bedding. Still, it only takes of few hours of direct sunlight to set things right. I slept well last night, after dusk had fallen and flood survivors quit bringing truckloads of debris to the nearby trash drop-off site.

None of the regular crew of panhandling inebriates were around the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36, so I stood out there from 2:30 until 5:30PM. Traffic was lighter than normal — no surprise there — but I still made almost $37, plus receiving an entire apple pie from King Soopers. BTW, I now have $225 in my coffee jar savings. A couple of passersby of longstanding acquaintance remarked to me that nobody had been on the corner since the flood began. Despite the anger and disgust I feel at the bums’ bad behavior, I hope they’re alive and well IN ANOTHER STATE. At least all of their empty beers cans and liquor bottles tossed into the ditch (in front the commercial district in the 4900 block of N. Broadway) were washed away, as far as a grate covering a drainage pipe about 100′ past my shady spot in front of the Mexican restaurant. There, the litter is heaped up but I don’t have to look at it.

I also watched a crew from NEWS7 in Denver as they reported on the frantic activity at the flood debris drop-off; as soon as a new empty dumpster was rolled off the truck into place, it was quickly filled up even as the old overflowing dumpster was hauled away. And there’s a large pile of trash from flooded homes on the ground, too. This video gives you an idea of the problems Boulder, CO is facing now as cleanup proceeds.

According to the account of one knucklehead outside Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning, where I have returned to my routine of arriving early to wait for it to open at 6AM, he has been hired by an out-of-state “contractor” to help with cleanup in Boulder. Disasters like this are always a magnet for scam artists of all kinds. There are lots of legitimate companies you can hire who employ full-time workers; don’t fall victim to the fly-by-night operators.

Boulder’s precious Open Space has been devastated by the flooding. Since this taxpayer-funded landgrab has always been about keeping out the “serfs” and propping up inflated real estate values for the benefit of the “nobles” here, in much the same way as the moat around a medieval castle, I’m hoping there will be a crash in housing prices.

I understand that some of the dope-smoking youngsters who hang out in Central Park and on Pearl Street Mall are deluded enough to think that they can apply for FEMA $$$. “Hey man, my tent was washed away — can I get about $10,000 to replace it?” They’re probably calling FEMA and other relief agencies at this moment, using their taxpayer-subsidized Obama phones.

Tonight at my campsite: junk food by the bushel.

Facebook post by Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow

*** Due to Continual Flooding and Ground Saturation in Boulder, BOHO will open again tonight***

There will be a Emergency Warming Center Tonight Tuesday September 17th, 2013 at Congregational St Andrew Presbyterian Church, 3700 Baseline Rd.

Please Do Not Arrive before 6:00 PM! Door’s will open at 7:00 PM.

RTD INFO: 203 and 225

Stay safe and look out for each other. Locate as many friends as you can!

Addendum:

***Attention Important Information***
Please enter via the Har HaShem driveway –
St. Andrew’s driveway is washed out

‘Use caution while cleaning up from St. Vrain River, Boulder Creek floods’

Read and heed this report from the Times-Call. Quoting from it below:

The Colorado Department of Health advises everyone, working either inside or outside, to wear protective clothing, gloves and eye protection.

Of course, washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap is key to preventing many illnesses.

After materials have started drying out, it’s also wise to wear respiratory protection. However, a common dust mask or bandana won’t be enough.

Disposable respirators certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and rated “N95” or “P100” offer better protection if they are worn correctly.

Colorado Health does not recommend specific vaccines following floods, but reminds residents that adults should receive tetanus vaccines every 10 years.

Outside, residents should avoid floodwaters, which can still pose a risk of drowning, particularly for small children. The waters also might be contaminated with raw sewage or chemicals, or hide objects that can cause injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, via its website, suggests cleanup crews wear hard hats, heavy work gloves and waterproof, steel-toed boots that also have steel insoles.

The report recommends these precautions for residents cleaning up indoors:

Most Longmont residents have returned to their homes, but cleaning those homes will take some time. Children and pets should be kept away from flood-affected areas until those areas have been cleaned.

Residents should wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles while they are cleaning their homes.

Hard surfaces should be cleaned with a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water. Children’s toys should be cleaned with this same solution.

Drywall, carpeting and mattresses that cannot be disinfected should be discarded. Many cities, towns and counties are providing large trash bins in flooded neighborhoods for residents’ convenience.

It’s also important to dry carpets and have heating and ventilation systems cleaned to prevent the growth and spread of mold. Use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process, the CDC suggests.

Clothing worn during cleaning sessions should be washed separately in hot water with detergent, according to the CDC.

Of course, community volunteers who want to help others are well-advised to follow the advice given in this report.

Addendum: ‘Colorado flood health hazards: How to avoid them’ from the Denver Post. Also wise counsel.

— MRW

Boulder YMCA steps up; Boulder Shelter and OUR Center still MIA

By Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Daily Camera.

It’s hard to fathom the thinking of the executive directors of nonprofits like Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (Greg Harms) and the OUR Center in Longmont (Edwina Salazar), who claim to serve the homeless but are now shirking their duty, doing either nothing or as little as possible in this flooding emergency. However, their fundraising activity continues uninterrupted by Mother Nature’s worst.

Kudos to the Boulder YMCA and Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow for going above and beyond . . .

News reports of interest

‘Colorado flooding 2013: Map of rain totals’ from the Denver Post.

‘Nearly 19,000 homes damaged, 11,700 people evacuated . . .’ from the Denver Post.

A major air rescue for Boulder County foothills planned for Monday from the Daily Camera.

318 people unaccounted for in Boulder County from the Daily Camera.

More Longmont neighborhoods evacuated on Sunday from the Times-Call.