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The Edge fo Disaster


Hundreds Unaccounted For in Colorado Floods

September 15th 2013

Bridge Failure

More than 500 people remained unaccounted for Sunday across Colorado after deadly, historic flooding left weary residents reeling amid the dark forecast of more rain to come.

"I don't know that she's even OK," Rob Clements told The Coloradoan about his mother, Libby Orr, 73, who he last spoke with Thursday. Clements, who lives in Dallas, saw a photo of his mother's Big Thompson Canyon home in ruins on a Denver TV station's website. "I presume she is. But her house, if not completely gone, fell into the river and is most of the way gone."

About 350 people are unaccounted for in Larimer County, according to the county's sheriff's office. In adjacent Boulder County, more than 170 people were unaccounted for but were not considered missing yet, though they had not contacted family members.

"The sad thing is there's nothing we can do," Larimer County sheriff spokesman John Schulz told the Coloradoan, referring to the numerous phone calls the department has received from people who haven't heard from loved ones. "It's just taking time. It's so frustrating to people because there's no information available."

Areas from Denver to the Wyoming border remained under the threat of additional rain Sunday, with flash flood watches and warnings posted. Airlifts were set to continue with helicopter crews expanding their searches east to include Longmont, Fort Collins and Weld County.

The evacuations come as another round of storms swept into the battered state Saturday.The flood zone has grown to cover portions of an area nearly the size of Connecticut.

"It is a sinking feeling when you realize that when some people call ... we are not going to be able to get to them," Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said. "But we are making great progress."

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