Utah crew poised to search flood-ravaged areas as part of Colorado rescue effort
About 1,200 stranded from flooding rescued by helicopters, troops
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, with members of the state's congressional delegation, went on two rescue missions with the National Guard Saturday afternoon. They witnessed areas where there was once a road, and now only a river, and saw communities that had become completely cut off from the rest of the world, including no water, phones or power.
But the group vowed before a small gathering at the Boulder Municipal Airport that Colorado will rebuild.
"We're going to come back and we're going rebuild better than it was before, and as a community, stronger," the governor said.
Red Cross officials estimated that 1,000 people — mostly flood victims — spent Friday night at one of the nine shelters set up around the state.
"I think the overriding feeling is shock right now. For many people, this past week has been the worst week of their lives. And to come to terms that a lot of possessions in their homes may be gone, a pet, or even a loved one, these are some of the most tumultuous times they can go through," said Red Cross spokesman Jim Rettew.
Ben Genzel, who lives in a ground floor apartment in South Boulder, was forced to spend the night at one of the shelters set up at the YMCA in Boulder.
"The whole building, on the ground floors, have to be gutted because they're filled with mud, and everything is saturated, and probably about 75 percent of my things are destroyed. I was trying to sort through them yesterday and I just got exhausted. I have to go back today and see before it starts to get moldy, he said.
In the area of Jamestown, Pelle said about 50 people were refusing to leave their homes. He planned to send a deputy who lives in that area by helicopter to make one final plea for them to leave, before more heavy rain hits the area.
"He'll explain we may not be able to come back for several days. If they pass today, we may not be able to help today or tomorrow," said Pelle.
"The problem with this event is it's affected every drainage, every road in the county. You know, it's a sinking feeling when you realize ... that someone who calls 911, we're not going to be able to help. That's a very difficult decision."
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