In a state of recovery

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Colusa County is slowly recovering from the Jan. 18 flood that displaced hundreds of residents and closed businesses in the Maxwell area.

Kim’s Country Café, the town’s only restaurant, opened Tuesday.

“I got the OK from the building inspector to open Monday, but I wasn’t quite ready,” said owner Kim Troughton, who was excited to be back in business.

Kim’s doors have been closed since an early morning downpour of rain pushed two to four feet of floodwater into buildings and homes througout the north end of town.

Jesse’s Auto Repair, operated by Troughton’s husband, Hydro Ag Irrigation and Hardware, the Sites Reservoir Office, and the Chevron Station were also forced to close because of substantial damage to the property or loss of inventory.

Floodwater also rushed into Maxwell Elementary School’s multipurpose room, kitchen and main elementary school building.

School officials said while the multipurpose room and kitchen required just a deep cleaning, the office, library and some of the classrooms required full carpet replacement.

Students whose classrooms were damaged were bussed to the high school while the repairs were being being made, officials said.

Most residents, who were evacuated in the middle of the night 10 days ago, have returned to their homes.

Len Danley, 87, who is confined to a wheelchair, said she was awakened by a Maxwell firefighter at 5 AM, placed in a Colusa County Transit bus and taken to the Education Village in Williams, where a Red Cross shelter had been set up.

“Everyone involved was amazing and did a fantastic job of getting us to safety,” said Danley, who had nothing but praise for those responsible for the evacuation during the crisis. “They got me up, they got me out and even had breakfast waiting for me when I got there.”

Troughton also praised the local community, and said without their financial help, she would never have been able to reopen the restaurant.

“I have a lot of people to thank,” said Troughton, who is planning an open house in a couple of weeks to show her appreciation. “This is a wonderful community, and people have been very supportive.”

Several families, who lost property or are still displaced from their homes, are also relying on the financial support from the community to recover. Some have set up GoFundMe pages or have donation canisters as select businesses in Colusa.

Meanwhile, Colusa County officials are assessing the damage caused by this year’s abundance of rain and the flood.

Damage to roads, both paved and graveled, has been substantial.

On Lonestar Road, a large cavity caused by water erosion has left the road closed from Highway 20 to Abel Road.

Delevan Road, east of Interstate 5, which had water over the pavement for more than a week, is open, but has substantial damage in the form of washed-out potholes.

Lenahan Road, which was paved for the first time just last summer, was also damaged.

On Tuesday, officials from Colusa County Public Works toured the county with FEMA and the Office of Emergency Services to assess the damages.