A Galloway Township man is thankful to be back home today after spending the last two weeks away from his family, helping others pick up the pieces in Colorado. John McGowan was called in to assist in FEMA operations when major flooding devastated the area. But not everything about his return home was welcoming.
John McGowan returned home from Colorado on Tuesday night, finally getting to see his family for the first time in weeks. But the joy took a quick turn when he learned, that he, like thousands of others was now furloughed because of the Government Shutdown.
While McGowan's time in Colorado has come to an end, he says the Government Shutdown will not hinder the recovery process. McGowan was stationed in Larimer, one of the 17 counties affected by major flooding.
"There were flood waters that were continuing to rise and there was a lot of concern that the citizens on the mountain region were going to be isolated." According to McGowan, many of the roadways in Larimer were completely destroyed.
McGowan was called to Larimer to supervise FEMA operations. He says as of Tuesday night 35 million dollars in grants have already been awarded. "That money generally goes to help rebuild damaged homes to replace items that they may have lost."
Over 1,700 homes throughout Colorado fell victim to the flood waters. Because of the damaged roadways, there's no telling how long it will be before many will be able to go home.
Even though McGowan isn't obligated to return, he says, as a friend he wants to go back to Larimer soon and help those still in need. "I hope to go out on vacation in the Spring or Summer and see the rebuilding process and know that the community is back on its feet."
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