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Colorado Disaster Zone Spreads across 17 Counties

Posted by feww on September 17, 2013

Death toll reaches 8, as Colorado floods destroy or damage thousands of homes

The disaster zone encompasses 17 Colorado counties, as the historic deluge, called a 500-to-1,000-year flood, forces thousands of evacuations.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management has now raised the official death toll to eight, up from five over the weekend.

In Boulder County about 2,000 people have been evacuated, most of them airlifted by helicopters.

In Larimer County at least 1,000 people remain to be evacuated.

At least 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 4,500 damaged in Larimer County. Additionally, 200 businesses have been lost and 500 damaged.

More than 100 homes were destroyed in the town of Lyons, Boulder County, but no countywide figures were available, as of posting.

About 600 people remained unaccounted for in Larimer and Boulder counties, many believed to be stranded in remote mountain areas cut off by floodwaters and with no access to telephone, cell phone or Internet service, officials said.

Floodwaters are moving east toward Nebraska, where officials have issued multiple flood warnings.

More than 533mm (21 inches) of rain fell in parts of Boulder city, near Denver, during the week-long deluge, nearly twice the area’s average annual rainfall.

Colorado’s air rescue operations were the largest in the United States since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, said National Guard officials.

Fema and Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced yesterday that 12 additional counties had been added to the September 12, 2013, presidential emergency disaster declaration for the Colorado flooding in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties.

The additional disaster counties include Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Morgan, Logan, Pueblo, Washington and Weld counties, which were affected by the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides.

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