Flood-stricken towns reconnect
LYONS, Colo. — The number of missing in Colorado's flooding dropped dramatically to 200 as authorities reached more victims, and residents evacuated from the hard-hit canyon town of Lyons were allowed past a National Guard roadblock on Thursday to salvage what they could from their homes.
“We're a little anxious. We've never gone through something like this before,” Gloria Simpson said as she waited in a long line of cars to Lyons, a community of about 1,600 in the Rocky Mountain foothills. A raging St. Vrain River cut a swath through its streets.
Guard troops allowed residents a few hours to inspect their homes and grab belongings before nightfall. Simpson hoped to leave with anything she could from her 81-year-old father's streamside home.
Mystie Brackett wanted to remove spoiled food from her refrigerator and get some clothes.
“It's a weird feeling,” Brackett said. “There is survivor's guilt, because my house is fine and my business is fine.”
Across the Front Range, the number of people unaccounted for plunged from a high of 1,200 to about 200 thanks to rescues and the restoration of phone service in more areas that allowed residents to contact family and authorities.
Seven people died, and two Larimer County women are missing and presumed dead. Larimer County reported that a third person, a 46-year-old Drake man, is missing and presumed dead. His home was washed away.
In a sign of things to come, Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park — a key supply route to the flood-ravaged town of Estes Park — was temporarily closed because of snow early on Thursday. The high-elevation road normally shuts down in October for the winter.
Officials urged residents in stranded towns to leave before the snows hit but acknowledged hundreds are determined to stay.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said he was impressed by residents in one area who are rebuilding their access road with shovels and pick axes. Road repairs likely will take months and in some cases will consist of a single dirt lane before winter.
To the east, Colorado's flooding triggered at least two significant oil spills. Regulators said 323 barrels of oil spilled from an Anadarko Petroleum tank farm near Platteville. A second Anadarko tank spilled 125 barrels into the South Platte River.
Flooding along the South Platte River pushed into western Nebraska but caused little initial damage.
Amtrak said its Chicago-to-San Francisco California Zephyr train will be detoured through early October because of track damage in the Front Range foothills.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Navy divers to salvage remains of Confederate warship in Georgia
- Iraqi troops lack ‘will to fight,’ Secretary of Defense Carter says
- Exhibit reproduces painter Frida Kahlo’s inspiration
- John Nash, wife, ‘A Beautiful Mind’ inspiration, die in N.J. taxi crash
- Chicago inmate eats screws, needles, amasses $1M medical tab
- Senator Warren calls for public hearings on bank waivers
- Florida mother who refused circumcision for son, 4, freed
- Rare sighting of bird thrills watchers in Kansas
- Protester leaves Shell ship north of Seattle; 1 remains
- Housing authority officer shot dead in New Orleans
- Yellowstone injuries: Slips, falls outpace bear maulings