Lot by lot, the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs is showing signs of residential life again after this summer’s devastating Waldo Canyon Fire. Eleven homes of the nearly 350 destroyed have been rebuilt, and about 80% of homeowners have resolved their insurance claims. But, as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the community still faces big obstacles.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Colorado Springs Together President Bob Cutter says one-third of the properties now have permits to rebuild and only one homeowner is still unable to start clearing debris. But along with insurance disputes and revegetation, Cutter recently told City Council the biggest remaining challenge is the huge range of emotional responses from fire survivors.

“From the people who got on with rebuilding immediately to the people even today that find it very difficult to return to their home site who [sic] was destroyed by the fire.”

President of Mountain Shadows Community Association Eddie Hurt says strong emotions struck some of his neighbors only in recent weeks. A rogue wave seemed to overcome him as he addressed council.

“Well, you can see. I didn’t even lose my house I’m pretty emotional still. But also there’s a lot of people there angry, a lot of anger. In the last probably three weeks I couldn’t tell you the number of people I’ve spoken to who — you just have to listen. There’s nothing you can say or do. Sometimes they may not even be rational.”

A partner organization of Colorado Springs Together offers counseling and group therapy for neighborhood residents. Hurt says he rebranded the men’s session after realizing few were attending. Now called the “Mountain Shadows Fighting and Drinking Club,” the group drew some 30 men to a local brewery for its first session.

 

Comments are closed.

News

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · Six police officers are charged in the arrest and death of Gray, who died of injuries suffered while in custody. A judge is considering a motion to dismiss the case.
 

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · Hungarian authorities stopped the migrants, including refugees from Syria and Iraq, from boarding trains bound for Western Europe. The station has become the latest flashpoint in the migrant crisis.
 

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · When Congress votes on the deal this month, it will be considered under rules that favor the president, even if his opponents gain a majority.
 

Arts & Life

September 2, 2015 | NPR · 12 immortal, iron-fisted god-kings rule over the desert metropolis of Sharakhai. No one can stand against them, until the gladiator Çeda begins hunting for the truth behind her mother’s death.
 

NPR
September 2, 2015 | NPR · The fantasy author’s last novel opens with the death of one of his most beloved characters — and serves as an illustration of his thoughts on his own impending death and the inevitability of change.
 

September 1, 2015 | NPR · Elena Ferrante is the pen name of an anonymous Italian author. Very little is known about her, but Ferrante’s books — widely believed to be a thinly veiled autobiography — have achieved cult status.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 2, 2015 | NPR · More two-minute, psychedelic garage-rock from the prolific Los Angeles trio, packing purist intentions and an inescapable weirdness.
 

September 2, 2015 | KEXP · The band sounds refreshed as it performs “Random Name Generator” to a rapturous crowd.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 1, 2015 | NPR · The accomplished guitarist’s new album, History of Tango, takes on a popular Latin-American style not often associated with her instrument.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab