Larimer County: '1,000 year' flood destroyed 1,500 homes destroyed, 200 businesses

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. - Larimer County officials said Monday that some parts of the county experienced a "1,000-year flood," which has destroyed 1,500 homes and 200 businesses.

An additional 4,500 homes and 500 businesses are damaged, said Nick Christensen with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

He said some areas of Larimer County experienced a 1,000-year flood and some areas experienced a 100-year flood, depending on the areas.

The Big Thompson Canyon has extensive damage, Buckhorn Canyon has heavy damage, Rist Canyon has minimal damage and Poudre Canyon has minimal damage, Christensen said.

There are still roughly 1,000 people still stranded in isolated areas, and officials believe the improved weather Monday will allow for rescue helicopters to fly. There are 16 helicopters involved in the operation, including
3 Chinooks and 7 Blackhawks.

Sunday was an active day with rescues, despite the helicopters being grounded. Ground crews rescued 100 people, including those in Cedar Cove.

Even though they are isolated, authorities say these are "very resourceful communities." 

They are prioritizing who gets help based on need.  Some families are running low on water, some are running low on food, and some have medical emergencies.

In areas where the helicopter cannot land, crews are "sling

The Forest Service is opening some roads, which may be the only way there is access to this community. The roads won't hold up to heavy travel so the roads are to be used to  get out and not back in.

Christensen said there are still two women in Cedar Cove who are missing and presumed dead.

The number of people who are unaccounted for is at 398, but that was basically a "mathematical exercise," Christensen said, because the numbers keep fluctuating. There are people who have evacuated and self-evacuated who have not yet registered with the Red Cross or called their loved ones to make sure that they have been accounted for, Christensen said.

Everyone who has evacuated is asked to register with SafeAndWell.org.

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