US & World

The high costs of Colorado's high water, by the numbers

Local resident Sue Sadar walks across a trench of mud which used to be a lawn as she and family members clean property in an area inundated in flooding, in Hygiene, in Boulder County, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Searches continue for missing people in isolated Colorado mountain towns.
Local resident Sue Sadar walks across a trench of mud which used to be a lawn as she and family members clean property in an area inundated in flooding, in Hygiene, in Boulder County, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Searches continue for missing people in isolated Colorado mountain towns.
Brennan Linsley/AP
Local resident Sue Sadar walks across a trench of mud which used to be a lawn as she and family members clean property in an area inundated in flooding, in Hygiene, in Boulder County, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Searches continue for missing people in isolated Colorado mountain towns.
In Boulder, Colo., on Monday, a man walks in the distance across the washed-out Wagonwheel Gap Road.
Mark Leffingwell /Reuters/Landov


Listen to story

00:00
Extra Audio:
Download this story 1.0MB

The flooding that has roared through communities and canyons across Colorado's Front Range in recent days is now being blamed for:

On Morning Edition, Grace Hood from NPR member station KUNC reported that "towns are just starting to dry out from days of heavy rain and flooding" and that "helicopter recovery [efforts] cranked into full gear Monday afternoon."

Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for. Most are thought to be OK but remain stranded because of impassable roads.

Also on Morning Edition, Mark Benjamin of Bellview, Colo., spoke about rigging a zip line across a creek to help get supplies to neighbors. And he talked about how the road to his home has been severely damaged and being "surprised I'm talking on the phone to you."

He can see the fiber optic phone line running to his property "hanging out there in space" where the road it was under has been washed away, Benjamin said.

"So we're talking through the water right now," noted Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. "You sound pretty good considering that."

Also:

— The Denver Post writes that "according to early state emergency management office estimates, 17,994 homes have been damaged and 1,502 were destroyed along a 200-mile stretch of the Front Range, but the numbers could change as the waters recede and emergency workers reach more isolated areas."

— Colorado Emergency Management officials are posting updates about the flooding and it toll here. As of 8 a.m. ET Tuesday, 11,750 people had been evacuated and 648 were still unaccounted for or missing. As we said, most are thought to likely be OK.

— The Colorado chapters of the Red Cross are posting updates and donation links here.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.