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

Leif Parsons for NPR
May 29, 2016 | NPR · If the rules at your neighborhood pool seem a bit strict, come take a dip with me in an Indian pool. It’s a free-for-all.
 

Jake Harper/WFYI
May 29, 2016 | WFYI · How to make thinking about death less somber? Hold a festival! Indianapolis did. Through art, film and book talks, residents explored everything from bucket lists to advance directives and cremation.
 

AP
May 29, 2016 | NPR · Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been talking a lot about guns recently. But how much will that issue matter with voters in November?
 

Arts & Life

Claire Harbage
May 29, 2016 | NPR · Claire North’s moving new novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope centers on a young woman who cannot be remembered; only animals or people with brain damage can recall their interactions with her.
 

Getty Images/Blend Images RM
May 28, 2016 | NPR · Over 1,000 students submitted their work for Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections. Two young poets split the top prize — and they’ve shared their poems with NPR.
 

Getty Images
May 28, 2016 | NPR · This week we’ve invited Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to the show. (So if a giant asteroid crashes into Earth while he plays our quiz, you’re on your own.)
 

Music

May 28, 2016 | NPR · William Bell cut his first Stax records tracks more than 50 years ago. Now, he’s back on the label. Bell tells NPR’s Scott Simon about his new album, and remixing one of his biggest hits.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 28, 2016 | NPR · The young band recently released a single called “Michigan And Again.” Though the band’s three members do love their home state, the inspiration for the song came from an unlikely source.
 

AFP/Getty Images
May 28, 2016 | NPR · Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab