Sunday, September 15, 2013
Officials in Colorado say an 80-year-old woman is missing and presumed dead after her home was washed away by the Big Thompson River.
The Larimer County sheriff's office says the woman was injured and unable to leave her home. When nearby residents arrived to help, they found the house gone.
She is the second woman presumed dead in the same area after the river rose Friday night. A 60-year-old woman is missing after the river destroyed her home in Cedar Cove.
The number of confirmed fatalities from the flooding in Colorado stands at four but is expected to rise.
The widespread flooding, from the Rocky Mountain foothills to the plains of northeastern Colorado, has led to hundreds of missing person reports. But officials expect the numbers to drop as cell phone service is restored and those unaccounted for check in. People who have been out of touch for several days are being asked to call the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, more rain is threatening to complicate search and rescue efforts. Twenty military helicopters planned to expand the search today from Boulder County east to Fort Morgan, but a forecast of up 2 to inches of rain is putting that in doubt.
Helicopter crews are planning to expand their searches today for people stranded by flooding in Colorado. But those plans could be hampered by more rain.
The National Weather Service says up to 2 inches of rain could fall today, creating a risk of more flooding and mudslides.
Rescuers have been making progress reaching communities cut off by flooding, but many canyon roads are still either underwater or washed out. And authorities say they don't have an estimate of how many people are still stranded.
In the hard-hit town of Lyons, rescuers are holding their breath because the only bridge into the town is beginning to crumble.
The National Guard plans to resume airlifts today with help from additional crews from Wyoming.
Guard officials say as of last night, 1,750 people and 300 pets have been rescued either by air or on the ground. So far the effort has been focused on Boulder and Larimer counties. If the weather permits, crews plan to expand the search area today to Longmont, Fort Collins, Fort Morgan and Weld County.
More on the flooding in Colorado: