The flooding in Colorado has hit
close to home for one Upper Gwynedd man.
Sean Ciccarone, 33, an executive chef at 3 Monkeys Cafe in Philadelphia, has been keeping in touch by the hour with his aunt and uncle who lost everything in the flooding over the weekend in Lyons, Colorado.
Ciccarone's aunt and uncle have made Lyons their home for 37 years, raising two children and becoming pillars of the community, he said.
Over the weekend, while his uncle was away on work in China, a year's worth of rain fell in a 36-hour period. Then, floods raged, destroying much of what they—and their neighbors—have worked for their entire lives.
Settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain range, just north of Boulder, Lyons was completely cut off from the outside. No aid is getting in or out, Ciccarone said. A boil water order has been put in place, and most residents have been evacuated by the Colorado National Guard. There is no electricity, telephone service, fresh water, or sewage capabilities.
"My aunt had to be rescued out of the second floor of their home in the bucket of a backhoe, and was evacuated by the Colorado National Guard yesterday," Ciccarone said Sunday. "Their town of Lyons is completely decimated."
So, the good nephew sprung into action to help his kin and others affected by the natural disaster.
He has started a fundraiser to raise as much as $50,000 for him and other volunteers to head out to Colorado to help with the cleanup and disaster relief efforts. Ciccarone also wants to build a sum of money to be used to help the people of Lyons with their own relief efforts.
Donations can be made online at http://www.gofundme.com/4b0p7k#.
In addition, Sweet Briar Cafe in Ambler has stepped forward to donate to the disaster relief.
On Wednesday, diners at Sweet Briar Cafe can have 10 percent of their total check donated by the owners to the fundraiser. Diners must mention the Colorado flood relief fund, Ciccarone said.
"They can go for lunch, dinner, or even just get ice cream," he said. "The situation is dire out there."