Keeping tabs on White River flooding

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Meeker city officials and American Red Cross volunteers were on standby Thursday, waiting to respond in case a winter flood caused more town residents to evacuate.

As of Thursday afternoon, no residents had taken refuge in Meeker Town Hall -- established as a shelter and warming and feeding location for residents choosing to evacuate their homes as result White River water levels rising.

Evacuees have taken shelter with local residents instead, said Ken Williams, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Centennial Chapter in Fort Collins.

"It's a small town and people know each other," Williams said. "Thank goodness more people haven't been displaced."

Meeker Police Chief Bob Hervey said city officials became concerned about rising waters Tuesday, when they noticed the river was overflowing its banks. The city advised 10 families living in a mobile home park on Water Street to find temporary shelter elsewhere.

Eight families, or around 20 people, decided to do so, the police chief said.

Hervey also reported that it appears the river waters have started to recede.

"It has gone down some," he said. "It looks like, for now, we may be out of the woods."

Hervey said city officials will continue monitoring the river and would alert town residents of any possible dangers rising waters may present.

Officials from the Red Cross Centennial Chapter praised Meeker officials for the prompt actions they took in preparing for the potential flooding problem.

"We salute the city of Meeker for their fast response and cooperation," disaster director Jason Godinex said.

"The Meeker city folks have just been fantastic," Williams said.

Hervey said the city has had past problems with winter flooding on the White River, but none in recent years.

Like the city, the Red Cross also will keep tabs on the situation in Meeker and respond with emergency services if need be.

"You never know what tomorrow will bring," Williams said. "If they need us to open a shelter, we'll open a shelter."

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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