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As Colorado Floodwaters Recede The Damage Becomes Clear

A view from the air Tuesday of one of the roads that have been cut by floodwaters in Weld County, Colo.
Rick Wilking
Reuters /Landov
A view from the air Tuesday of one of the roads that have been cut by floodwaters in Weld County, Colo.

This morning's top headline from The Denver Post is encouraging:

"Nature finally cooperates as Colorado floodwaters begin to recede"

According to the Post:

"For the first time since Colorado's historic flooding began last week, nature gave residents and rescuers a rain-free day, allowing emergency crews to bring help to stranded people and helicopters to ferry the willing to safety.

"Thousands of people across a broad swath of the Front Range were still kept out of their homes — or trapped in them — by floodwaters."

But as our colleagues at KUNC report:

"Across Colorado's 17 flood impacted counties there are currently 12,118 people evacuated and 306 unaccounted for, the state's Office of Emergency Management reported Tuesday night. There are 6 confirmed fatalities, and 2 missing and presumed dead in Larimer County.

"The 2 persons missing and presumed dead came from Cedar Cove in the Big Thompson Canyon, where the width of the Big Thompson river has grown significantly in some places."

What's more, says KUNC's Grace Hood, as the waters recede it's becoming clear that it's going to take a long time and lots of money to repair destroyed roads and replace or repair homes and businesses. As we reported Tuesday, it may cost $500 million or so just to repair roads and highways.

Grace posted a Vine video clip of the water and damage along "Highway 34 near the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon." There, as she writes, "piles of wooden debris laced with flip flops, prescription pill bottles and Styrofoam" clutter the area.

KUNC also writes that there's concern about damage that may have been done to the wells in "Colorado's richest oil field."

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Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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