Politicos’ Flood Damage Flyover Becomes Rescue Mission


A helicopter surveillance mission Saturday carrying Hickenlooper and members of Colorado's congressional delegation was diverted twice to pick up people waving to be rescued.

After the officials' delayed arrival at a Boulder airport, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall promised a bipartisan push in Congress for federal aid for flood recovery. "That dog and the cat and those seven people on those two helicopters didn't ask us whether we were Democrats or Republicans," Udall said. [Pols emphasis]


Left to right: Rep. Cory Gardner (R), Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Sen. Mark Udall (D). Photo via Sen. Udall

Gov. John Hickenlooper and rescued Estes Park resident.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and rescued Estes Park resident.

As the Boulder Daily Camera's Mitchell Byars reports:

Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and members of the state's congressional delegation on Saturday afternoon took a helicopter tour across flood-ravaged Boulder County and parts of Jefferson and Larimer Counties.

As a testament to the destruction and, in some places, still very dangerous situation in the state, the two National Guard helicopters the dignitaries were aboard stopped twice to rescue stranded people during the tour, officials said. They eventually picked up six people a dog and a cat, dropping them off at an airport in Larimer County before returning to Boulder Municipal Airport.

Hickenlooper estimated the group saw 55 sections of roads and highways that were either partially or totally destroyed by flood waters. In some places there was little evidence a road had been there at all, with everything down to the road base washed away. Despite the monumental effort that will be required for Colorado and Boulder County to recover from the calamity, Hickenlooper voiced optimism that the state would bounce back.

"I think the thing that we're all agreed to is that we're gonna come back and we are going to rebuild better than it was before," he said. "And as a community we're gonna come out stronger after the storm that we were before."

Action Tweeted in close to real time by Rep. Cory Gardner:


More photos from today's bipartisan rescue mission after the jump. 


Photo via Rep. Cory Gardner


Photo via Rep. Cory Gardner


Photo courtesy Rep. Cory Gardner


Photo via Rep. Ed Perlmutter


Photo via Sen. Mark Udall


Photo via Rep. Jared Polis


Photo via Rep. Jared Polis


16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Is anybody else not surprised that Jared's smartphone takes the best pics?

  2. ClubTwitty says:

    Sending good thoughts to my friends, colleagues and everyone in the flood zone.  Its good to see them altogher, we need to pull together, there are a lot of folks out there in need. 

  3. ClubTwitty says:

    Good to see our delegation together. 

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    It's been weird hearing the helicopters flying regularly, in weather that I'm guessing civilian choppers are never allowed up in – really low ceiling at times. I wondered why we had them where vehicles could still get around, but it makes sense that it's the best way to get a rough damage assesment.

    I'm glad they took them around – seeing the devastation up close gets across better the severity of the devastation. And how widespread it is.

    ps – How does Senator Udall know that the dog & cat didn't care if they were Democrats or Republicans 🙂

  5. gertie97 says:

    Because the dog and cat told him, David.

  6. BlueCat says:

    And now can we agree that the smallest possible government supported by the stingiest possible taxes isn't the best because we each know how to spend our money better than the government does?  There are needs that can only be addressed collectively through the elected government on every level that represents us and requires that we pool our resources through taxes because we can't get it done as individuals. A great country requires a robust, well funded government.

    Sadly many disasters that would have caused less structural damage when our interstates, bridges and other infrastructure built during the Eisenhower administration were new and in great shape will be much worse now since we have allowed so much of it to deteriorate since then because or of our unwillingness to pay the upkeep, repeating that stupid anti-tax mantra. 

    And that mantra hasn't even made the majority more prosperous. Basically, since we entered the anti-tax era, no one has grown any richer except a tiny elite, while what was once the world's greatest infrastructure lags behind that of other modern industrialized nations. No wonder they sneer at all of our bragging about being so damn superior toal other nations. We have the biggest hammer in terms of our military and that's about it. 

    Today's massive fires, floods, super tornadoes, hurricanes and all the rest should be a wake up call. We need to spend what it takes to keep our infrastructure first rate, our long term emergency response and  immediate emergency response personnel and resources first rate.  Otherwise we can shout about American exceptionalism and yell "We're number one!" until we're blue in the face but what we'll really be is a floundering third rate behemoth with a pampered princely class.  

    I bet another thing you won't be hearing from those rescued will be, as per the old Reagan joke everyone enjoyed so much,  that the most dreaded words you'll ever hear are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you". Morning in America my ass. It was the beginning of the greatest decline in our history.

  7. Hawkeye-X says:

    Rep. Gardner is damn lucky he didn't get thrown out of the helicopter while it's in the air to make room for one of the victims.

    Rep. Gardner happens to be one of the most useless Congressman in Colorado and must be replaced by a progressive Congressman, but unfortunately none are present to challenge Gardner's ass. Time for redistricting when it comes to 2020, and remove the capabilities of any Republicans to win in the district ever again.


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