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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Residents of Pinewood Springs, Colorado, Hold Fast to Their Community

Story by Robert W. Wallace, photo by Virginia Hart

Volunteer Bob Wallace shares information about the Red Cross
shelter in Estes Park with Pinewood Springs, Colorado, residents
Michael and Susan Martin and Geoff Evans, the Martins' friend
from Longmont, Colorado. A washed-out portion of Highway 36,
the only road between their community of Pinewood Springs
and Estes Park, is in the background.
American Red Cross volunteer Bob Wallace encouraged Michael and Susan Martin, residents of Pinewood Springs, Colorado, to avail themselves of the resources from the American Red Cross available to persons impacted by the Colorado floods.

The Red Cross has established a shelter in the neighboring community of Estes Park. The shelter offers overnight accommodations, three meals a day, nursing care, and disaster mental health assistance. It's located at the Rocky Mountain Park Inn. In addition, FEMA and a Disaster Assistance Center are also available at the Inn to offer assistance.

Michael and Susan Martin live in a beautiful Colorado locale and are members of the close-knit community, Pinewood Springs. But the flood inundated their home and community. However, that may not have been their most serious problem: Highway 36, the only connector between their community and Estes Park, was completely destroyed in some places by the raging floodwaters.

FEMA had strongly urged them to evacuate their now isolated community. However the Martins are adamant. "We are not leaving. I've got dogs and cats, ducks and chickens. It's our home," declared Susan Martin.

To obtain supplies, the Martins must pack everything in on the narrow trail that exists alongside the collapsed highway. They make multiple trips along this strip with containers of fuel, groceries, and other necessities. Thankfully, they now have potable water available in their community, so they no longer have to ferry water as well. This day they had a friend, Geoff Evans, to help them haul in supplies.

"Pinewood Springs has approximately 400 homes and 1100 residents. Somewhere between 60 and 100 residents remain," said Michael Martin. "We've organized ourselves into committees to deal with the essential community services," he continued.

Michael Martin works from home for a major corporation and says he will be able to continue to work as soon as electricity is restored. Susan Martin, on the other hand, has a sales job that she will likely lose. So far their resourcefulness and determination has sustained them. "We will be alright for a little longer. There is still a lot of meat available," said Michael Martin.

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