Gilpin County residents snowed in

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“We have hundreds and hundreds of people as we are talking right now that are still snowed in to their house,” said one resident.

GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. — Parts of Gilpin County were buried under more than five feet of snow during this week’s storm.

People who live there told 9NEWS they spent days digging themselves out, while others haven’t been able to. They said some of their neighbors are running out of food and water, with options to restock that are not close by.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of people as we are talking right now that are still snowed in to their house,” said Amber Cusano, who lives in unincorporated Gilpin County. “They’re running out of food, have no way to get to them.”

Cusano has lived in the area for six years.

“If you took a shovel right now to how thick and heavy this snow is, it’s like ice blocks,” Cusano said. 

Saturday was the first day she said she was not trapped by that snow. 

“It took three days for us to get a path from the house to the end of the driveway,” Cusano said. “We have a high demographic of elderly people up here on medication and oxygen. They are not self-sufficient and can’t use a snow blower or a shovel.” 

That also includes 13 short-term rental properties she manages in Gilpin County. All those homes are occupied right now. All those families are snowed in. 

“All of them are,” Cusano said.  
 
“One of my properties, I had to hire an excavator out of Denver for $1,800 dollars to come up and excavate the driveway just to get my renters out because they didn’t have any more needles for their insulin for their elderly mother,” Cusano said.

Cusano said she wanted to see work done quicker on main roads to help people in need.  

“The county, the BOCC (Board of County Commissioners) needs to take a deep look at what these emergencies look like and we need to respond much faster because we have people in crisis right now,” Cusano said.  

Gilpin County issued a disaster declaration on Thursday.

“We were hoping to get a dozer up to help clear some of the highways because that was a critical element,” said Gilpin County Manager Ray Rears. “For example, emergency services or EMS had difficulty getting out of the county during the storm because the roadways were shut. So we were trying to get a dozer to open up some of these roadways but we were really impacted by a lot of abandoned vehicles. That made it very difficult for resources to get up to Gilpin County.”

Gilpin County is holding a meeting Sunday, March 17 at 9 a.m. to discuss the disaster declaration. 

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Gilpin County residents snowed in

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