The massive rains and flooding that occurred throughout Colorado all last week are expected to continue on Monday as the state continues to deal with intense damage to property and infrastructure. The Denver Post reports that at least 17,400 homes have been damaged, more than 1,500 were destroyed, and more than 11,700 people have been evacuated from their homes. As of Sunday night, more than 1,250 people had yet to be accounted for.
At least 6 people are dead or presumed dead from the flooding, included an 80-year-old woman who was washed away with her home.
The increased fog on Sunday also led the Larimer County sheriff to ground their entire helicopter fleet, which had been used to rescue people stranded in towns whose road access had been cut off by flooding. "The good news is we’ve got 16 helicopters. The bad news is they can’t go anywhere,” a spokesman for the office said.
On Monday, Boulder plans to resume helicopter rescue operations, advising residents to use flares, sheets, and mirrors to attract attention. They also stated that the county's reservoirs were holding strong but that they were being closely monitored.
"A lot of these reservoirs were relatively low at the beginning of this cycle and now they are filling up. So they have some new loading, and that load is going to stay there, even after the rain stops and the creeks come down," McCormick said.
"So, we are going to be very much aware, and we want the public to not forget about that either. We just need to be vigilant, until we have time to get all of our post rainfall inspections and assessments done, to not let our guard down just because the sun comes out."
Officials also cautioned that the spillways many dams have to control volume might be activated, and that residents might confuse their use with dam failure.