(NEW YORK) — The number of missing in the Colorado floods is continuing to decline, as rescue operations wind down and flood waters begin to ease.
Evacuated residents of Lyons, Co., where 46 remain unaccounted for, were allowed to return home briefly to gather essentials and review the damage caused by flood waters. Lyons Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen says basic infrastructure has been severely impacted by flooding, including the sewer system, which is clogged with rocks and mud.
Many in Larimer County, where 197 residents are missing, are refusing to leave flooded areas, causing problems for law enforcement.
“We’ve let them know there there is a lot of road damage below them,” said Incident Commander Chuck Russell. “It’s going to be quite some time before they will have access back out.”
Law enforcement is warning residents of Larimer County that emergency services will be slow due to damaged roadways and they may not have access to them if a 911 call were to be made.
Colorado officials say they’re now in the recovery mode of the flood disaster.
[Residents] may have a long-term commitment given the magnitude of the infrastructure damage,” said Larimer County Sheriff’s Official Nick Christiansen. not only roadways but water utilities, postal service, access to medicine, all those sorts of things.”
Search-and-rescue operations will continue throughout Colorado until all 306 missing residents are accounted for.
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