Lisa Fox Jackson Iowa - She Counts Her Blessings
Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa says she feels lucky have escaped the worst of the flooding that did so much damage to her adopted hometown and the surrounding region in the fall of 2013.
She is a resident of Estes Park, Colorado, near Rocky Mountain National Park. The region experienced unprecedented rains in September of 2013, which touched off massive flooding that claimed eight lives and caused billions of dollars in damage. President Barack Obama declared the region a Federal disaster area.
"We were totally isolated at first," Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa recalls. "Highway 36 and Highway 34 were both severely damaged." The two highways are the main routes to and from Estes Park. And yet she feels luck, because her home escaped serious damage, and more importantly she and her daughter were together the entire time. "I always knew where Anissa was. She was pretty frightened. She was only about two then and didn't fully comprehend what was going on. But she knew something very out of the ordinary was happening."
As much as seventeen inches of rain inundated the region over a period of about four days, Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa recalls. All told seventeen counties, an area of nearly two thousand square miles, was affected, according to state officials. About two thousand homes were destroyed, as were hundreds of businesses, and thousands more were damaged.
And yet access to Estes Park was restored within a few weeks. "That was really important to this town," says Lisa Fox Jackson of Iowa. "I'm lucky – I'm a teacher and that's where the work is. But most people here rely heavily on tourism, and make the bulk of their income from late summer through early fall – right when all of this happened. The town really pulled together – that much, at least, was really beautiful. But believe me when I say that every day, I count my blessings."