Mexico resident and American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter volunteer John Mathews is getting a firsthand view of the devestating Colorado flood waters.
Mathews has been in the Estes Park area for the last week and is very complimentary of the independent actions of the people in the isolated area. "The infrastructure was crushed, bridges were out, they were cut off from everything" Mathews said. "They organized quickly and began taking care of their own needs even before outside aid arrived. Their efforts could be used as a blueprint for others in a crisis situation to follow."
Mathews related hearing several experiences about families and their efforts to survive, including one family, completely cut off by the flood waters with no passable roads, which was able to travel to safety via horseback.
Mathews applauded the well coordinated cooperation between the three command centers based within the affected regions that allowed relief efforts to quickly reach such areas as Estes Park. "It was quite a push to get us here, but now we are here doing what we need to do."
As a Red Cross volunteer, Mathews works with individuals and communities to develop mutually helpful relationships and partnerships in times of crisis.
The Mexico volunteer was unsure as to how long he would be in Colorado in general but he did say that he will be the Estes Park area for the near future.
The Colorado floods began Sept. 12 and have affected approximately 2,000 square miles, destroying nearly 2,000 homes, 200 miles of state highways, and 50 state bridges.