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

(Newser) – 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.

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.
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)
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows cleanup of damage from flooding underway in Lyons, Colo.
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows cleanup of damage from flooding underway in Lyons, Colo.   (AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guardsmen loading a woman into a truck to be evacuated from Lyons, Colo.
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guardsmen loading a woman into a truck to be evacuated from Lyons, Colo.   (AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows vehicles damages by flood waters on a street in Lyons, Colo.
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows vehicles damages by flood waters on a street in Lyons, Colo.   (AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo.
This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo.   (AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
A flooded house bears a dark muddy line showing the high water mark from the flood's peak, in Hygeine, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
A flooded house bears a dark muddy line showing the high water mark from the flood's peak, in Hygeine, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
A tractor is bogged down in mud and water from flooding on the South Platte River on a farm near Greeley, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
A tractor is bogged down in mud and water from flooding on the South Platte River on a farm near Greeley, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
A home on Upland Avenue is inundated by a flash flood on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Boulder, Colo.
A home on Upland Avenue is inundated by a flash flood on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Boulder, Colo.   (AP Photo/The Daily Camera, Jeremy Papasso)
A bulldozer drives past Boulder Creek, whose swollen waters have receded since intense rain abated over the past two days, in Boulder, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
A bulldozer drives past Boulder Creek, whose swollen waters have receded since intense rain abated over the past two days, in Boulder, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
From left, Dan Feldheim, Scott Hoffenberg, and John Smart pass sandbags to reinforce the dam on University Hill in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
From left, Dan Feldheim, Scott Hoffenberg, and John Smart pass sandbags to reinforce the dam on University Hill in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Daily Camera, Paul Aiken)
Tim Eggert, left, carries a sandbag as Scott Hoffenberg, center, directs him to reinforce a berm at University Hill in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
Tim Eggert, left, carries a sandbag as Scott Hoffenberg, center, directs him to reinforce a berm at University Hill in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Daily Camera, Paul Aiken)
As heavy rains return after somewhat abating for two days, a field fills with water from overflowing creeks nearby, outside Longmont, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
As heavy rains return after somewhat abating for two days, a field fills with water from overflowing creeks nearby, outside Longmont, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
An emergency responder stands next to the runway as a rescue helicopter lands at Boulder Municipal Airport, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.
An emergency responder stands next to the runway as a rescue helicopter lands at Boulder Municipal Airport, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
A man rides his bike on a day of heavy rains, which returned after somewhat abating for two days, in Longmont, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
A man rides his bike on a day of heavy rains, which returned after somewhat abating for two days, in Longmont, Colo., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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