The Drake Campground is on the mend and, despite being hit hard by the flood, has since become a temporary home for volunteer recovery workers in Colorado’s Big Thompson Canyon, the Daily Camera of Boulder reported.
“We fed 230 people from Wisconsin who were up helping people,” said Jeff Shaffer, who owns the campground with his wife, Lori.
In years past, the couple typically rented out an apartment to tenants, but they have given up the extra income to allow traveling volunteer groups to stay there. Many groups have been cycled in and out to help in Drake, Glen Haven and other nearby areas that are struggling to get back on their feet.
“We’re looking pretty good compared to a lot of people up here,” Lori said. “I feel really fortunate.”
Looking back on the destructive September flooding, she was much more disheartened than she is now.
“All I did was cry for months. It was terrible. I didn’t even know where to start,” she said. “I just can’t believe what the force of the water can do. We just watched everything get destroyed.”
The county required them to have a flood evacuation plan in place, one they thought would never have to be executed. They began getting campers out of harm’s way around 6:30 a.m. Sept. 12 and up onto the road, which had already been closed.
They evacuated about 15 of their own campers, while also helping the neighboring campground get its visitors to safety. Eventually, the campers and the Shaffers were flown out of the canyon by helicopter.
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