Colorado Office of Emergency Management reports eight fatalities in historic flooding

2 of the deaths presumed in Larimer County

DENVER - The Colorado Office of Emergency Management now reports eight fatalities in devastating flooding that has struck 17 counties.

Three of the deaths are confirmed in Boulder County and two in El Paso County. Two others are presumed in Larimer County.

The eighth death occurred Monday when a man somehow fell into swift-moving Clear Creek in Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County Coroner Don Allan told 7NEWS.

"This was strictly an accident. I think he slipped and fell in the water," Allan said. "This person was a very good friend of mine. He's been a very good friend for 35 years."

"He did go in the water, but I don't know for sure how. That's part of my investigation," Allan added. The coroner did not release the victim's name, because the man's family members are still being notified.

Another death was discovered Monday in the West Fork of Sand Creek on the east side of 4600 Town Center Dr. in Colorado Springs. It is also believed to be flood related, said Micki Trost, spokeswoman for the Colorado Office of Emergency Management

The state's estimate of the number of homes damaged has also grown to 17,994. The estimated number of home destroyed remained at 1,502, unchanged from Sunday's report.

OEM also reports an approximate total of 658 people are currently unaccounted for throughout the state. That number fluctuates rapidly as each county receives more reports or contacts people on their lists.

The 17 counties now listed as affected by the flooding are Boulder, El Paso, Larimer, Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Washington, Weld, Sedgewick, Otero and Archuelta counties.

Military aircraft resumed flying rescue operations just after noon Monday. They'd previously been grounded by the inclement weather.

A total of 21 helicopters from the Colorado and Wyoming National Guards and from Fort Carson are involved in that work.

36 evacuation shelters are open for evacuees.