1.2K Missing as Colo. Deluge Continues

Helicopters, horses prepare for rescue missions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2013 7:02 AM CDT
Updated Sep 16, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
1.2K Missing as Colo. Deluge Continues
A local woman walks in an evacuated neighborhood where many homes are inundated with water from overflowing canals after days of flash floods and intense rain, in Hygiene, Colo., Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Officials are pulling out all the stops to help Coloradans escape continuing floods, but "Mother Nature is not cooperating," says an emergency commander. An air rescue is planned for today, and those stranded in Boulder County have been instructed to "flag down the choppers in any way they can," whether by sending up flares, shining mirrors, or waving white sheets, the Boulder Daily Camera reports. With helicopters grounded in Larimer County, meanwhile, officials there have turned to horses for help. A horse pack train may today carry supplies to some 1,000 people who need evacuation, the Denver Post reports. The paper says six people have now died.

Of roads out of Boulder and Loveland, the emergency commander says, "it's going to take months to restore those roads to their original condition. A lot of the road bed is gone and it's a stream bed now." The state has seen 1,500 homes destroyed and 17,500 damaged; 11,700 people have been ordered evacuated, while 1,253 are still unaccounted for, say officials, per the AP. Fortunately, "More people are reporting in and saying 'Here I am' than are reporting someone missing," says the Larimer sheriff's office. Some towns are beginning the cleanup and reopening process, with shopkeepers trying to save what they can, the AP notes. But more rain is expected today. (More Boulder, Colo. stories.)

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