Evans flood victims shocked by speed of rising water, left animals, belongings behind

Retired business owner: I'm too old to start over

EVANS, Colo. - Ramon Salazar says he’s never seen the South Platte River rise as fast as it did during this flood.

"I got my wife and my grandson out,"he said. "That was it."

The retired landscape business owner said that when he tried to go back to retrieve a few other things, he fell into the swift moving water.

"I got hit by a beam," he said.  "It knocked me down."

Salazar said this is the third major flood he’s seen in the 28 years he has lived in Evans.

“When the levy broke during the last flood, it took four hours for the water to reach my house,” he said. “This time it only took 30 minutes.”

Salazar also said this flood was the most destructive.

"My truck is gone.  My tractor is gone," he said.  “I had two freezers full of meat that I got ready for the winter, about $800 worth is gone.  I chopped eight cords of wood last week and it’s gone."

When asked how he was holding up, Salazar choked up and said, "I’m here.  Everybody tells me you can start over.  I’m too old to start over."

“It’s really difficult seeing my parents go through this,” said Corinna Cantrell-Salazar.

She said the family’s big concern is its animals.  They have horses, goats and dogs.

“I keep asking if anybody has seen my dad’s horses,” Cantrell-Salazar said. "Looking through binoculars, we think we saw one of the dogs on high ground near the house.  But we’re not sure if any of the other animals have survived."

The Salazar family, like countless other Evans residents, is waiting for the water to recede.

Family members are trying to stay positive.

"We’re survivors," Cantrell-Salazar said. "We're cancer survivors, breast cancer survivors, and they’ve been through floods before.  We just keep saying, party in two weeks for the clean-up.'"

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