The good news is the number of people unaccounted for in the Colorado flooding is dropping steadily; the number of missing people nearly halved from Sunday night’s tally with roughly 650 people still being searched for. The bad news: the death toll has risen to eight as of this morning.
People affected by this natural disaster are relieved to see their loved ones return, but many people don’t have a home to return to. According to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, 1,500 homes have been destroyed in the 17 flooded counties in the state. Almost 12,000 people have been evacuated from the affected areas.
Four of the eight fatalities occurred in Boulder County, the area hardest hit by the flooding. Two people were confirmed dead in Larimer County, one in Clear Creek County and one in El Paso County. Of the hundreds of people still missing, authorities estimate the majority of those are holed up without any means of communication, but said it would be a “miracle” if there weren’t any more deaths.
The evacuations in the hardest hit areas are still being conducted. Officials say it could take weeks, even months, to look for more people that died in the flooding. Hundreds of bridges and roads have been washed away; it could take decades to repair all of them.