Flood-weary have reasons to rejoice

This time of year often is referred to as the season of miracles. To see some real-life miracles, we need look no farther than our Northern Colorado mountains.

After September’s disastrous flooding, many high-country highways suffered staggering damage. When the state set a Dec. 1 target date to get them open again, it seemed wildly unrealistic. But seemingly miraculously, the Colorado Department of Transportation opened all 27 affected roads well before the deadline.

Businesses are bouncing back as well, with some very effective help from a federal government too often maligned as inefficient or worse.

The heart of the recovery still is being driven by charitable and faith-based organizations in the area. First responders – and those they rescued at the height of the deluge – have their own stories of miracles to tell.

The overall message got a nice “amen” last week when Gov. John Hickenlooper said he and his extended family would spend Christmas in Estes Park, specifically to help tourist-oriented businesses there that were dealt a one-two punch by closed roads and a government shutdown that shuttered Rocky Mountain National Park – all at the height of prime leaf-peeping season.

“Estes Park is a Colorado treasure and was deeply affected by the floods,” Hickenlooper said. “We hope everyone this holiday season supports small businesses in our state’s tourist destinations and Colorado communities hit by the disaster.”

What a great gift idea.

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