Five people are now dead, over 150 are missing, and thousands have been evacuated already in Colorado as massive floods continue to tear apart the homes and communities across multiple counties. And the weekend's forecast calls for more rain.
The flooding forced whole towns to evacuate, and has taken its toll against roads and buildings and homes in Boulder County. Flash floods began earlier this week after a week of heavier than normal rainfall. Some residents have been left stranded in homes, or in cabins, or in some cases on the side of a mountain waiting for rescue crews and emergency workers to free them from the raging torrents of water ravaging the state.
Authorities are hoping that increased efforts and favorable conditions on Saturday will help them locate the remaining 172 people who are unaccounted for. (At one point that number was as high as 218, and official are hoping it continues to shrink.) They're increasing the number of on-the-ground rescuers and a fleet of helicopters will help evacuate those who remain in the affected areas. The President already declared a state of emergency and ordered the biggest FEMA response the state has ever seen to report to Boulder, Larimer and El Paso counties. The death toll rose Saturday, the Denver Post reports, after a 60-year-old woman became the fifth person killed in the floods.
"There might be further loss of life," Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle told reporters Saturday. "It's certainly a high probability. With an army of folks and an air show we're hoping to reach everyone as soon as possible."
The amount of rain that has fallen in Colorado is staggering. The Post broke down the unbelievable numbers behind the "biblical" rain storms that have plagued the state. Unfortunately, those numbers will only grow, as the National Weather Service forecast says the rain is not expected to stop until Sunday night or Monday at the earliest.