Emergency Town Board Meeting: January 1, 2022

Emergency Town Board Meeting: January 1, 20224 min read

Neighbors: I have to admit, I was in tears before joining our emergency Board meeting this afternoon. The devastation from the Marshall Fire is just horrific… there are no words.

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Image created by Dave Billinghurst with Pure Design Group; click here to learn more and buy a sticker to support impacted residents.

For those who missed our Emergency Town Board Meeting today, I am recapping the discussion. As usual, you may read this post in written form, subscribe to the Laura for Superior podcast, or scroll to the bottom for a video recap.

In our Emergency Town Board Meeting this afternoon, we voted to declare a state of emergency for Superior, which will allow us to access funding and resources to aid in our recovery. Our priority is getting Superior residents back in their homes as fast as possible, with gas and electricity restored as well. And of course, there are thousands who do not have homes to return to; we are working around the clock to try to help.

Residents living south of Coalton Road and north of Rock Creek Parkway to McCaslin are able to return to their homes now. We are hoping to help more residents return to their homes tomorrow, even if we are only able to open up temporary access (i.e., return to your home to get things, but not stay). There will be more information to come on access for residents in other areas.

FEMA is providing space heaters and bottled water for residents returning to their homes, and we have recently gotten space heater distribution moved to the Superior Community Center – you can pick up there tomorrow between 8am and 8pm. As far as more permanently restoring gas for heating, Xcel is working today to shut off gas meters at each home – these meters need to remain off until an Xcel worker can come into your home and check the gas appliances, during which time someone over 18 years old must be home to let them in. (A neighbor can also do it – I escorted a group of Xcel guys from house to house, armed with a list of garage door codes. Just make sure they know exactly where your thermostat, furnace, water heater, and any gas appliances are located.) If no one is home to let them in, Xcel will put a hangtag on the door with instructions for how to reschedule. Xcel’s goal is to get 25% of relights done tomorrow, and then have 100% of the town relit by January 4th. Here are details on the restoration regions and expected dates.

At the meeting, Chief Beebe from the Mountain View Fire District and Boulder County Sheriff Sergeant Troy Wolf gave updates on their recovery efforts. Unless a structure is damaged, Mountain View doesn’t generally have concerns with people going back in. For homes with smoke damage, the fumes in your homes may be toxic, depending on what was burning. Mountain View can check for a limited number of smoke toxins, like carbon monoxide, but most testing / mitigation will need to be done by restoration professionals. Finally, starting tomorrow, the police will be conducting searches of the burned structures for the 3-4 people who were reported missing.

For those wondering about internet, fiber lines near the Element Hotel were destroyed in the fire; Comcast is working to restore services, but we do not yet have a timeline on this.

As far as water, our water treatment plant is back up and running, with the tanks refilled. However, we still have a boil water notice in place – please do not use water at your home without first boiling it. The boil water notice is precautionary because of concerns about chlorine levels due to the water being pumped out at such a high rate to fight the fire. The system needs to be more fully flushed, and then state testing will be conducted to ensure the water is potable – this should happen this week. We know potable water is a priority! In the meantime, remember that there is water available at the fire station on Indiana.

If your heat is not yet restored, anyone with the ability to do so should shut off their water mains and drain their pipes (turn the faucets on after shutting off the water main – here is a guide). If you are unable to do this, please request help by emailing or calling our Director of Public Works and Utilities, Alex Ariniello, at alexa@superiorcolorado.gov or 303-579-9839. Otherwise, your pipes may freeze and burst, resulting in potentially catastrophic damage.

Finally, residents should also be aware that our town email servers went down with the fire; we have just restored access this afternoon, so communication will hopefully now improve. In addition to looking for our email blast messages, BoulderOEM.com is the best source of information and updates. And now that my email is working, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at lauras@superiorcolorado.gov, and tell me how I can help!

We will get through this tragedy. We will rebuild, together. Please: stay safe, and stay Superior Strong!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Kayley says:

    Any discussion on how to support those who’ve lost homes? I am sorry no one has power and don’t want anyone’s pipes to freeze, but many of us have nothing. Will the town provide a list of approved contractors? When can we access the ruins? Do we still owe HOA dues? How do we cancel our water bills? Is there a push to help displaced families find local rentals? Doesn’t seem like this group was represented in this meeting.

    • Laura says:

      Kayley, I am so sorry for your losses, and my heart is breaking at what you must be going through. I don’t have any answers yet as far as the rebuild process goes or even those medium term questions around HOA dues and water bills, but I am working to start figuring out next steps so that at least we can reduce some of the uncertainty. We expect today to be able to provide more info on when you can access the ruins, depending on what part of town you are in. The longer term plan is going to take some time to establish, but please let me know right away if there is ANYTHING we can do for you in the short term to get through these next few days.

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