Flood rescues continue as Colorado braces for more rain

A man takes photos of the damage from heavy rains in Boulder, Colorado. Credit: Reuters
A man takes photos of the damage from heavy rains in Boulder, Colorado.
Credit: Reuters

More heavy rain is expected on Saturday in Colorado where rescue workers are battling to reach residents cut off by the worst floods in decades, which have killed at least four people and left 172 still unaccounted for.

Search and rescue teams have used boats and helicopters to pull stranded residents to safety in areas where flash floods toppled buildings, washed out roads and inundated farmland.

The flooding began overnight Wednesday. It was triggered by unusually heavy late-summer storms that soaked Colorado’s biggest urban centers, from Fort Collins near the Wyoming border south through Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.

Boulder and a string of other towns along the Front Range of the Rockies north of Denver were especially hard hit as water poured down rain-soaked mountains and spilled through canyons that funneled the runoff into populated areas.

Overnight, rescue workers took advantage of a break in the weather to reach residents still stranded in their homes by rampaging floodwaters that turned creeks into raging torrents that burst their banks.

“Quite a bit of the water has receded in the city … and rescue crews will work throughout the night,” Ashlee Herring, a spokeswoman for the Boulder Office of Emergency Management said of the recovery effort.

The National Weather Service in Boulder warned of scattered showers and thunderstorms later on Saturday and into Sunday that could trigger further flash flooding in the already drenched area.

DISASTER

Lyons, a town north of Boulder, was virtually cut off when floodwaters washed out U.S. Route 36, stranding residents without water and power for 48 hours.

At least four people were killed, including a couple swept away in floodwaters after stopping their car northwest of Boulder. The man’s body was recovered on Thursday and the woman had been missing and feared dead before her body was found on Friday.

Also killed were a person whose body was found in a collapsed building near Jamestown, an evacuated enclave north of Boulder, and a man in Colorado Springs, about 100 miles to the south, officials said.

On Friday, Governor John Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency for 14 counties, reaching from the Wyoming border south to Colorado Springs. The declaration authorizes $6 million in funds to pay for flood response and recovery.

In neighboring New Mexico, where floods forced the evacuation of hundreds of people in Eddy, Sierra and San Miguel counties, Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of disaster on Friday making funding available to state emergency officials for recovery efforts.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management listed 172 people as unaccounted for following the floods, stressing that while they were not yet considered missing or in danger, relatives and authorities had not been able to contact them.

In rural Weld County, where the South Platte River has overflowed its banks and virtually cut the county in half, aerial TV footage showed large stretches of land covered in brown water on Friday. Many homes and farms were largely half-submerged.

Weld County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Reams said nearly every road in and around a cluster of towns that includes Greeley, Evans and Milliken had been closed by flooding, including bridges that were washed out.

The flooding was the worst in the state since nearly 150 people were killed in Larimer County in 1976 by a flash flood along the Big Thompson Canyon.

The size and scope of property losses remain unquantified, with county assessment teams unlikely to begin preliminary evaluations of the damage at least until early next week, once water has receded, said Micki Frost, spokeswoman for the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…