More than 75 Kansas National Guard soldiers and airmen are in Colorado repairing roads washed away during a flash flood last month.
U.S. Highway 36 was destroyed by flooding between Lyons and Estes Park on Sept. 12, cutting off residents in the smaller, rural communities who live along the 25-mile stretch of highway.
Army and Air National Guard units from Kansas arrived in Colorado last week, according to the Kansas Adjutant General’s office. The units include the 891st Engineer Battalion from Iola, the 226th Engineer Company in Augusta, the242nd Engineer Company from Coffeyville, the 772nd Engineer Company in Pittsburg, the 190th Civil Engineering Squadron from Topeka and the 184th Intelligence Wing Civil Engineering Squadron from Wichita. The units have civil engineers and heavy equipment operators.
The Kansas contingent is working with Guard units from Colorado, Montana and Utah, a statement from the adjutant general’s office said. The 175 Guardsmen are working 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset, to repair the highway.
The work includes building the road, removing debris – including cars, trees and boulders – filling land areas washed away by the water and installing culverts. Since operations began in September, the National Guard units have worked 7,150 man hours, placed 320 feet of culvert, and hauled 10,980 cubic yards of fill material. That’s enough dirt to fill more than 92,403 standard bath tubs.
The Kansas National Guard contingent is scheduled to return home in early November.