The Denver Water Board has yet to supply Summit County citizens, government and emergency personal with any specific details or reasons for the abrupt closing of the dam road. “Catastrophic Consequences” could mean a lot of things.
The most “imminent danger” facing Summit County right now is much more likely to be a huge forest fire rather than a terrorist strike or a dam failure. With only two east/west roads available now to exit the population in case of a catastrophic fire, I do see catastrophic consequences.
In the story published July 10, emergency vehicles and personnel must now negotiate literal road blocks and locked gates. This takes much more time to respond to an emergency or get a person to safety and sacrifices life saving minutes. Looking at the difficulty the ambulance was having trying to get through the road blocks, I cannot imagine what it would be like to get a fire engine through. Hindering ability of emergency personnel and vehicles to respond is, in my opinion, criminal, and will result in more catastrophic consequences. Waiting until August to fix this situation is criminal negligence.
If, indeed, there is a problem with the structure of the dam that the Water Board is not being honest about, there will be more catastrophic consequences resulting because the county and population cannot prepare for, or prevent a dam failure. Not letting people know and prepare endangers their lives even now.
I have absolutely no idea what the Denver Water Board’s reasoning (if any) is. And it doesn’t look like they are going to explain their decision any time in the near future.
But for all of the Summit County residents and visitors who are now truly put at risk by this decision, I hope we burn into the consciences of each and every member of the Denver Water Board. And while I truly hope there are no catastrophic consequences, if there are, I hope the Water Board members realize that the victims of their decision will haunt them forever.
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