Marshalltown native’s daughter airlifted to safety in Colorado

It was a tearful reunion when a Marshalltown native saw his daughter for the first time after she was airlifted from the mountains in Colorado during a class field trip.

Scott Hinerfeld, a 1994 Marshalltown High School alumni, lives in Louisville, Colo., a town right outside of Boulder.

Hinerfeld’s daughter, Lili, a fifth grade student at Fireside Elementary School, took a class field trip to Calwood Education Center, in the mountains, not knowing the trip would end with an emergency evacuation due to the deadly floods.

“They went up on Wednesday before the storm started and were suppose to be there Wednesday through Friday but the storm came in that night,” Hinerfeld said. “By Wednesday night it was pretty evident there was going to be substantial flooding in that area.”

Hinerfeld said he was unable to communicate with them as the flood unfolded, but knew the kids were in a safe place.

“There was really not any fear in particular for the kids’ safety,” Hinerfeld said. “We knew they were in a really good place and they were well taken care of and had food and supplies.”

Hinerfeld said his only concern was when exactly the children were going to leave the camp.

“It did become a little concerning trying to figure out exactly when we were going to get them out because all the roads had been washed out in the community below them,” Hinerfeld said. “We knew early on they weren’t going to be coming home when they were suppose to.”

Hinerfeld said he later received communication from the school saying the children were fine.

“They had more meals, they were in cabins, they weren’t camping out by any means and they weren’t stranded.” Hinerfeld said. “They probably could’ve stayed there several more days, but it was important to get them off the mountain.”

Hinerfeld said Lili and the other children were not necessarily scared during the trip, but a little concerned because they were not coming down.

“They are young and were with their best friends and teachers and people reassuring them that everything is fine,” Hinerfeld said. “It was more of an adventure than it was anything else.”

Hinerfeld said the kids were flown by helicopter to the airport, then taken by bus back to the school.

“We were all waiting,” Hinerfeld said. “It as a tearful and happy reunion for a lot parents.”

Hinerfeld said after the field trip he started watching the news for the floods. He said Louisville wasn’t affected.

“It’s interesting, at a glance you can drive through Boulder and if you weren’t paying attention you almost wouldn’t notice that the flood had happened,” Hinerfeld said. “But, if you turn a left or a right here or there and you get actually get in the neighborhood you can see total devastation.”

Hinerfeld said many of his high school friends and his parents’ friends have been checking up on him through Facebook.

“There has been a huge outpouring of support and messaging coming from fellow friends from Marshalltown and I really appreciated that,” Hinerfeld said. “It’s nice to have my whole community around me as well.”

Hinerfeld’s parents, Sue and Lew Miller, live in Marshalltown.

Hinerfeld said he is part of a Facebook page, Donate Boulder-Community Organized Flood Relief, that helps other people affected by the floods.