Colorado helicopters have had to halt search and rescue operations for flood victims due to dense cloud cover and fog. Discovery reports Sept. 16 that search teams have been forced to ground helicopters while as many as 1,000 people are unaccounted for.
80-person search and rescue teams have been sent out from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help rescues in Larimer County, as well as providing aid to other communities after massive flooding occurred at the Front Range last week. Grounding the Colorado helicopters is not something rescuers wanted to do, but were given little choice.
It was noted in the report that large military vehicles were trying to drive up mountain roads. Helicopter crews flying out of Boulder had to be suspended until clouds lifted, hampering key rescue efforts.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper that 16 or 17 helicopters would continue search and rescue efforts Monday.
Five counties in Colorado have been impacted by the massive floods. Emergency management officials confirmed that 17,494 homes were damaged, 1,502 home destroyed and 11,700 people were given mandatory evacuation orders.
Hopefully more of the unaccounted for residents will be found when the Colorado helicopters resume operation.