Weathering disaster

Capitol Hill lawmakers shutdown the government over Obamacare funding just as Colorado was recovering from catastrophic floods. Governor John Hickenlooper announced the day of the shutdown that Colorado would pay to keep roughly 120 National Guard engineers at work repairing wrecked infrastructure across the northern Front Range, which would cost something like $40,000 to $80,000 each day, according to the Denver Post. It’s state money that will be only partially recovered.

In a more recent interview with USA Today, Hickenlooper described more of the hurdles the shutdown has thrown up on the path to recovery:

“We had the worst floods in the history of the state and yet we don’t have the resources to address it. The [Environmental Protection Agency] is all shut down. We had 20 million gallons of raw sewage go into our streams and rivers, right — that had been flooded over parks and grounds. And now, in many cases, we have three or four families huddled into one bedroom apartments because [the department of Housing and Urban Development], again because of the shutdown, doesn’t have the resources or the flexibility to get shelter. [The Federal Emergency Management Agency] has still got all their people on the ground in Colorado. They’re doing a great job. I can’t say enough good about FEMA, but when they make requests now, all their support staff in Washington is gone.”     –JT

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