Monday, September 16, 2013

19,000 homes damaged or destroyed in Colorado flooding, 5 dead

Anthony Castellano in ABC News: More than 1,000 residents are stranded in the wake of ferocious flooding and relentless rain that have killed at least five people and left 19,000 homes in Colorado either damaged or destroyed, according to officials.

A total of 1,253 people are also unaccounted for but officials cautioned the number is subject to change as widespread flood recovery efforts continue. The Colorado Office of Emergency management reports that five people, four in Boulder and one in El Paso County, are dead.

Nick Christensen of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office says that with so many missing, the number of dead will likely rise. "It's just going to take some time to determine the status of everybody," he said.

A National Guard helicopter carrying civilians out of Lyons, Colo., was grounded by heavy rains and flood waters Sunday. The crew has been forced to wait it out and spend the night on higher ground, according to a National Guard news release. It's just another problem in a continuous stream of misfortune for so many in the flood zone.

As many as 1,000 people in Larimer County were awaiting rescue Sunday, but airlifts were grounded because of the rain, Type 2 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team commander Shane Del Grosso said, according to The Associated Press. The stranded are without power and are thought to be low on food. Del Grasso says they need a break in the weather to continue rescue efforts.

"We need a change in the weather pattern to get a break and to really go after what needs to be done out there," Del Grosso told ABC News Radio....

A panorama of Boulder, Colorado on a drier day, shot by Hustvedt, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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