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Old 09-13-2013, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Colorado floods: Sound the alert, more flash floods possible

CNN - Found 46 minutes ago
Are you there? Share photos and video if you can do so safely. Boulder, Colorado (CNN) -- The water rose and the people fled. Flood sirens sounded overnight as Colorado emergency officials feared that debris caked canyons might give way and send another wall of water crashing through the city of ...
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Colorado floods: Sound the alert, more flash floods possible
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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Nat'l. Guard helps evacuate victims of Colorado floods...

Guard members evacuate more than 2,000 from Colorado flooding
September 16, 2013 WASHINGTON — Some 560 members of the National Guard have evacuated more than 2,100 people stranded by historic flooding in Colorado.
Emergency officials say four people are confirmed dead and more than 1,200 people have not been heard from. On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne, Colorado Air National Guard, as dual-status commander, supporting FEMA and Colorado’s emergency management officials, for the purpose of combating floods in Colorado.

“Active duty forces, through the coordination and direction of U.S. Northern Command, are complementing these National Guard assets in the overall response to the flood relief efforts,” according to a Monday statement from the Department of Defense. “Seven helicopters from the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson have been conducting search-and-rescue operations under immediate response authority.”

As of Monday morning, the 4th ID had rescued more than 700 residents, to include the rescue of 85 elementary school students at a camp near Jamestown, the statement noted. Buckley AFB has been designated as a FEMA staging area. The governor has declared 14 counties disaster areas. On Sunday, even Guard members needed rescuing, when a mix of 51 Colorado National Guardsmen, first responders and civilians were stranded near Lyons when their half-dozen Light Medium Tactical Vehicles could not ford floodwaters.
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Colorado evacuees return to find more heartbreak
September 17, 2013 — Weary Colorado evacuees have begun returning home after days of rain and flooding, but Monday's clearing skies and receding waters revealed only more heartbreak: toppled houses, upended vehicles and a stinking layer of muck covering everything.
Rescuers grounded by weekend rains took advantage of the break in the weather to resume searches for people still stranded, with 21 helicopters fanning out over the mountainsides and the plains to drop supplies and airlift those who need help. The number of dead and missing people was difficult to pinpoint. State emergency officials reported the death toll at eight Monday, but local officials were still investigating the circumstances of two of the fatalities. In a Colorado Springs creek Monday, authorities recovered the body of a man but can't say yet if the death is related to recent flooding. And in Idaho Springs, an 83-year-old man died Monday afternoon when the ground he was standing on gave way and he was swept away by Clear Creek, according to The Denver Post.

Two of the eight fatalities are women missing and presumed dead. The number of missing people was dropping as the state's count fell Monday from just over 1,200 to about half that. State officials hoped the overall number would continue to drop with rescuers reaching more people and phone service being restored. "You've got to remember, a lot of these folks lost cellphones, landlines, the Internet four to five days ago," Gov. John Hickenlooper said on NBC's "Today" show. "I am very hopeful that the vast majority of these people are safe and sound."

Residents of Hygiene returned to their small community east of the foothills to find mud blanketing roads, garages, even the tops of fence posts. The raging St. Vrain River they fled three days earlier had left trucks in ditches and carried items as far as 2 miles downstream. "My own slice of heaven, and it's gone," Bill Marquedt said after finding his home destroyed.

Residents immediately set to sweeping, shoveling and rinsing, but the task of rebuilding seemed overwhelming to some. "What now? We don't even know where to start," said Genevieve Marquez. "It's not even like a day by day or a month thing. "I want to think that far ahead but it's a minute by minute thing at this point. And, I guess now it's just help everyone out and try to get our lives back," she added.

- See more at: Colorado evacuees return to find more heartbreak | CNS News

As air rescues wind down, some refuse to leave
Sep 17,`13 -- In the days right after floodwaters rushed through the Rocky Mountain foothills, the helicopter crews that lifted stranded people to safety were greeted like heroes. Nearly a week later, they are often being waved away by stubborn mountain residents who refuse to abandon their homes.
Caleb Liesveld hiked several miles into tiny Pinewood Springs, midway between Longmont and Estes Park, to try to convince his parents to leave. His mother relented, but his father refused. The elder Liesveld was determined to use heavy equipment from the family's granite quarry to resurrect an old stagecoach road that would let residents get vehicles in and out. "He wants to be productive, and I don't think he'd really know what to do with himself off the mountain," Caleb Liesveld said Tuesday.

In nearby Lyons, a number of residents were working together to clean rotting food out of abandoned restaurant refrigerators. "We are a community. We all want to stay here and help," Molly Morton, who also declined rescuers' advice to leave or face months of isolation, said Tuesday in a phone interview. Morton, 44, lives with her boyfriend on a hill overlooking Lyons. They have well water and a septic field, and Monday night she got her power back, allowing her to restart her cleaning business.

Several residents of Lyons moved up the hill to camp on her property in tents, bringing suitcases and coolers filled with as much food as they could salvage from refrigerators and freezers. One of the men had been given house keys by many people who did evacuate, and he had been going around to empty refrigerators and freezers to throw away food before it spoils. He's also been on the lookout for anyone who might try to take advantage of all those empty houses. By Tuesday, military helicopters had flown nearly 2,400 people and more than 850 pets to safety in what officials said was likely the largest such airlift since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.

The pace of rescues was beginning to taper off. Crews were shifting from emergency airlifts to more systematic searches of flooded areas. Green tags and flags, bold enough to be seen from the air, were being used to mark properties that had already been checked. The reluctance to leave was evident during an aerial tour for media Tuesday arranged by the National Guard. As a Blackhawk chopper churned over Jamestown, where slabs of highway were stacked in murky water, two Guardsmen leaned out the open sides and waved to people below. Most waved back and went on shoveling rocks from their driveways or gazing at the debris piled in their yards.


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