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Sep 19, 2013 1:51 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Flood Fiasco: Benson woman returns from trip to Colorado

BENSON- As Lesley Tower looks at Colorado flood video captured on her iPad, she is happy to be back in dry Southern Arizona.

The Benson resident and her husband drove up to Estes Park, CO almost two weeks ago to visit family and attend a festival. The plan was to return to Benson last Friday, but when the flood waters rushed in that all changed.

Tower says it rained for about three days straight. When the rain finally let up Tower says the picturesque mountain town she has been visiting for 30 years was drenched. "And then we woke up one morning, it was all over the news that Highway 34 and Highway 36 were flooded out," Tower says.

Tower stayed at her sister's house. For three days they didn't have internet or a phone connection. "We couldn't contact my brother," Tower says. "He lives about an hour from Estes Park, so we didn't know how he fared."

A trip to the one grocery store in town also seemed hopeless. "They were out of eggs completely, they were out of milk, they were out of water," Tower says.

Finally last Sunday Tower and her husband got a chance to test out the road, under the guidance of a snow plow. "The snow plow went before us and it plowed the water away from the road," Tower says. "We had to stay behind it the whole time."

Tower returned to Benson on Monday. She brought her mother, who is an Arizona snowbird that usually stays up in Colorado until October. "We are very thankful to be home and my family is blessed to not have lost their homes," Tower says. "So many people have lost their homes and it's just a devastating thing. Mother nature can be cruel."

On Thursday the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Red Cross will be sending a second volunteer up to Colorado to help flood victims.

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