Last week, torrential walls of water slammed eastern Colorado, inundating highways, homes, and leveling some 30 bridges. The most recent death toll has listed seven people lost in the flood, and hundreds (at one point estimated more than a thousand) remain missing. On Saturday, President Obama declared the situation a state of emergency, and ordered federal funds to be released for disaster relief.
Some of the areas hardest hit by the floods are Boulder, Larimer, and El Paso counties, though the floods have affected 15 counties in total. In Larimer alone, CNN reports that more than 1,000 people remain cut off from rescue efforts. The US Geological Survey has confirmed that the flash floods experienced in Colorado are one-in-100-year disasters, though Climate Central has reported that three days of 24-hour, 8 to 12 inch rainfall is enough to qualify the storm as a one-in-1,000-year disaster.
According to Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fulgate, 3,000 Colorado families have registered for federal aid. More than 2,100 people have been rescued by helicopter and ground teams as of Sunday, reports CNN.
The Colorado Office of Emergency Management has set up a website for relief funds, and the Red Cross, which is coordinating relief efforts with local agencies, is taking in donations for the estimated 18,000 dislocated Coloradans whose homes have been damaged in the disaster. You can also send relief funds through the Salvation Army, donate to Boulder and Broomfield counties specifically through the Foothills United Way, or register for volunteering at All Hands Volunteers.SB