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Volunteers help displaced Greeley families in wake of severe storm


GREELEY, Colo. — Volunteers were out in Greeley Saturday helping families who were displaced from their homes after severe storms caused localized flooding Tuesday night.

The city of Greeley has issued a disaster declaration after it was determined the storm caused more than $1.45 million in damages.

The impacts of that storm were felt at several homes in the Northern Colorado community. Some families were left displaced and are now forced to start all over.

Greeley storm aftermath

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The Rinebarger family and a couple of their neighbors suffered damage to their homes on Tuesday night.

“It started slow, just a trickle of water. We tried to mop it up with towels and it got a little faster and faster,” said Caree Rinebarger. “At that point in time our property was starting to flood and it inundated us. You don’t think about it and you go into survival mode, we tried to save what we could.”

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Rinebarger said the conditions continued to worsen to the point they had to call fire crews to rescue them and their neighbors.

Tyler Schemp, who lives next door with his grandmother said she relies on oxygen and his priority was to make sure she stayed safe.

“The fire department said there was 3 ½ feet of standing water in the driveway,” said Schemp. “We hooked my grandma up to oxygen and salvaged what we could.”

Greeley Flooding

Caree Rinebarger

But both families lost all of their belongings to the flooding.

“When I see the destruction all I can do is thank God my kids weren’t in the basement, because it could’ve been much worse,” said Rinebarger through tears,

Saturday morning a group of volunteers gathered to help the families clean up and attempt to salvage some of the items from their homes.

“The true heroes are all of these volunteers helping us,” said Rinebarger. “Our landlord lost a lot too, not just us. She’s been here every day with us. She was here when the flooding happened.”

Denver7 spoke with Christina Koder, Rinebarger’s landlord, who said she owns both properties, as well as another one that were damaged.

Greeley damages

Caree Rinebarger

“We came out here and the water was above knees,” said Koder. “I feel bad for the tenants. They lost their belongings and their memories, that’s terrible. We hope we can get some sort of assistance because nothing is covered in insurance.”

Koder said the properties have been red-tagged, indicating they are uninhabitable. She said they’re still not sure how long the repairs and remodeling will take.

As the families figure out what comes next, they said all of the support from their loved ones has meant the world.

“It’s nice to see that it takes a village. we have a bunch of good people around us and we’re very thankful for that,” said Schemp.

The Rinebarger family has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help them during this time.

Volunteers help displaced Greeley families in wake of severe storm that caused severe flooding


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