Grace Hood

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Let's check in now on some people and places affected by the large-scale federal government shutdown. We go first to Boulder, Colorado. Its home to hundreds of federal research laboratory employees and thousands more university and contract workers, all locked out of federal buildings and labs during the budget impasse.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Amid the partial government shutdown, the Small Business Administration will continue only a few programs, including disaster relief loans. That's good news in Colorado, where nearly a thousand businesses were damaged or destroyed by recent flooding. Many more could see sales go down.

Grace Hood of member station KUNC traveled to the small town Lyons to understand the full scope of challenges facing small businesses.

The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The heavy rain has finally stopped in Colorado, but days of flooding have devastated the most populated region of the state, known as the Front Range. As of this morning, we know that eight people have died, though hundreds have not been heard from, some in very remote areas. Officials estimate 1,500 homes have been destroyed, and thousands more damaged. Grace Hood from member station KUMC reports federal aid is making its way into the state, even as crews assess the damage.

The practice of hydraulic fracturing is something typically associated with fields and open land. But it's not uncommon in Colorado and other states for a residential neighborhood to become the site of oil and gas activity.

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