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Community pulls together to aid LaBarge flood victims

Posted: Friday, Oct 25th, 2013

LaBarge on Friday, Sept. 13. (Photo by Roxanne Rudy)

LABARGE — When reflecting upon the recent transition from summer into autumn, most residents of southwest Wyoming will recall the abnormally high rainfall across the region. For many families in and around LaBarge, however, the pervasive impact of September’s precipitation is still very much a reality today.

Heavy rain began falling in an already soggy LaBarge on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 12. Just a few short hours later, flash flooding had engulfed much of the area and powerful mudslides forced the closure of U.S. Highway 189 to the north and south of town.

Total rainfall over the course of the storm ranged from eight to nine inches, but by Friday morning (Sept. 13), the road was open to traffic in both directions and most of the standing floodwater had subsided.

A tremendous sense of community was on display in LaBarge as family, friends, and neighbors came together to support and help one another, but there was no ignoring the fact that such widespread destruction had left the town in shock.

In the end, a total of 30 homes—25 in LaBarge and five additional homes outside of town—sustained major damage in the flood. With winter rapidly approaching and the importance of heat and insulation compounding daily, an added sense of urgency surrounds the considerable repairs needed in all of these homes.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, an outpouring of support and teamwork was focused on the establishment of LaBarge Flood Relief. This 501c3 organization collects monetary donations in addition to building materials, appliances, clothing, and the myriad of other items that are in such high demand in LaBarge.

Drop-off locations were established as quickly as possible, including three locations in Kemmerer. There are also several locations in Cheyenne, on the other side of the state. Donations can be dropped off in Kemmerer at the Lincoln County Courthouse lobby, the South Lincoln Medical Center lobby, and just inside the entrance to Ridley’s.

In addition to receiving donations from all over Wyoming, volunteers from many different areas came to LaBarge to pitch in. There have been volunteers from Big Piney, Marbelton, Kemmerer, Evanston, Green River, and Rock Springs.

Among the damaged homes, replacement furnaces and hot water heaters were made priorities due, in large part, to frigid nighttime temperatures. The response has been tremendous thus far, leaving the families with damaged homes in a much better position to handle the winter weather.

For anyone wishing to donate towards the ongoing LaBarge recovery, money can be sent to LaBarge Flood Relief, P.O. Box 404, LaBarge, Wyoming 83123.

For the complete article see the 10-24-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-24-2013 paper.

Keywords: LaBarge, flooding, flash flood, mudslide, Cabinets, woodworking, kitchen design,

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