Trash Removal Big Mess In Windsor

Mayor Says Plan On Way, Insurance Can Help

Parts of Windsor are still trashed.

Tree limbs, walls, insulation and other items can be found along several streets both on the southeast side and central downtown sections of the Weld County town, hammered by Thursday's deadly tornado.

The huge trash bins that dotted the area Thursday and Friday are gone.

And the mayor said that was the plan all along, to clear the roadways for emergency vehicles and regular traffic, then address the remaining garbage.

Homeowners should check their insurance policies, which may cover trash removal.

"If they're going to wait for us, we're going to come. But it's not going to be today or tomorrow. It's going to be a process," said John Vazquez, mayor of Windsor.

Already, the town had spent more than $130,000 on trash removal and expected overall town expenses could eventually reach the $2 million mark.

A larger plan to handle phase two of the cleanup can be expected by the end of the week, he said.

Vazquez encourages residents to try and separate downed and chopped tree limbs from construction trash and keep it on their property, not in the street.

For the Slocum's the problem was deciding what to keep.

Little Jaycie Slocum may be the town's best known, grade-school artist.

On Sunday, while reporting live from the Diamond Valley debris field east of town, 7NEWS found a palm tree she'd drawn, amid the wood, nails and other tons of trash.

We used that piece of art as a way to personalize the way the tornado had impacted people.

A 7NEWS viewer saw the 10 p.m. version of that piece and called the family.

Jaycie's dad is a Windsor police officer.

Despite 14-hour days helping the town recover, he got the call and headed straight out to the trash pile.

Thanks to a little help from some 7NEWS staffers, he found that small palm tree and brought it back - proudly - to his family.

"It was just kind of a neat feeling, especially when I turned it over and saw her name on the back of it. It made me smile. It really did," Doug Slocum said.

"I think I did pretty good," said Jaycie Slocum.

She was happy to see the tree she'd created with average colored markers to decorate her church, Cornerstone Baptist, for the upcoming Vacation Bible School event still planed for next week.

"We have a Hawaiian theme," Slocum said.

Her mother said the recovered, small, flimsy, paper piece will now be framed.

"Just because it survived the tornado. It was just a miracle that you guys picked out this one piece of artwork that had our daughter's name on it," Michelle Slocum said.

Insurance representatives and repair crews were busy outside their home preparing to get to work as Doug Slocum directed on his first day off since the tornado hit.

"(It's) just a keepsake. Just something to have through all this," Doug Slocum said.