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The aftermath of the Colorado floods: A Boulder mom’s perspective

From my second floor bedroom three weeks ago, I listened to flood sirens and nursed a stiff drink while my 2 year old clung to my chest. When they started, I was settling in for a quiet evening and thought I was imagining things.  It didn’t take me long to remember the insistent tone of the protocol we’ve heard each flood season since we moved here: “If you hear the sirens, GO UP”, and so I did.

The city tests the sirens once a month and whenever they do, my 2 year old runs for the nearest warm body for comfort.  That night, I found the two of them huddled together, my daughter quietly soothing her little brother, half asleep herself.  Ushering them into my room, I felt grateful to have brought my drink upstairs with me.

I didn’t sleep much that first night, concerned for those I knew to be in much more precarious situations than we were.

Colorado floods: How to talk to kids and stay strong amid disaster

As flood waters destroyed homes and claimed lives in Colorado last week, Neil Rosenthal was reminded what it’s like to lose everything. The Boulder resident has twice had his home burn to the ground, and while his house on Flagstaff Mountain was safe last week, he and his partner were trapped for several days when part of their road washed out.

The sense of loss can be overwhelming when a natural disaster ruins your home and possessions, says Rosenthal, a licensed marriage and family therapist who also writes a syndicated advice column carried in The Denver Post.

“I come at this from two different angles,” Rosenthal said in a phone interview. “The first is from my personal experience and the other is that I’m a professional.”

Colorado floods relief: How to help victims, those affected

With recent floods impacting communities all across Colorado, there’s several ways you can contribute to the disaster relief efforts. Dozens of charities and nonprofits are accepting donations.

But it’s also important to know scams are out there.

If you have any concerns about the group you might be donating to visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website: http://www.sos.state.co.us/ccsa/CcsaInquiryMain.do

Here are some groups accepting donations for flood victims:

CU, Boulder Valley, St. Vrain schools all closed today due to flooding

The University of Colorado has closed the Boulder campus and the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts each have cancelled all classes today due to the widespread overnight flooding across the county.

Similarly, the city of Boulder and Boulder County have closed all government-run facilities today, including courts, libraries and recreation centers.

Boulder Community Hospital’s two emergency rooms are only taking walk-in patients, and the hospital is canceling most non-emergency surgeries today.

-Camera staff

For flood updates, be sure to follow the live blog: Colorado flood emergency