Utah team goes door-to-door evacuating Colorado flooding victims
"It's considered a hasty search. They move rapidly through those search areas. If they come into an area and they knock on a house and they see or hear someone, they will then make entry by any means necessary," Bevan said. "If the house is intact and there is no answer, they will not force entry into the home. They will put a sticker on the window that outlines the premises has been searched, the interior has not and they'll move onto the next structure."
But many of the homes in that area are not in one piece.
"They have numerous structures that half the house is missing. Obviously if half the house is missing, they can check the remainder. They also have a law enforcement officer with them that will enable them to do forced entry if anything indicates they need to make entry into some of those homes," Bevan said.
Utah's crew is one of five urban search and rescue teams called to Colorado. Originally, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska were called. Late Sunday, word was sent for teams in Nevada and Missouri to also travel to the region.
On Saturday, much of the rescue effort by the Colorado National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency focused on a massive air operation to find stranded residents, many of whom had been physically isolated in their mountain homes. More than 1,200 people were rescued in Boulder County alone on Saturday.
But as the operation transitioned to the urban search and rescue teams, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle cautioned there was a possibility of additional deceased victims being found.
"The cautionary note is this: we have not begun to search collapsed structures, debris piles and wash-outs where we would likely find human remains," he said. "I don't want to be pessimistic, but I also want to be realistic about the probability that we will find others."
As of Sunday, there were a total of three confirmed fatalities in Boulder County due to the storm. There were a total of four throughout Colorado, with some media organizations reporting a fifth death.
The total number of missing people in Colorado ranged from 200 to 500, according to various reports.
The Utah team traveled with enough supplies to stay in Colorado for 10 days if necessary, and could receive additional supplies if the stay is extended.
Utah Task Force 1 consists of firefighters and paramedics from the Unified Fire Authority, Salt Lake City Fire Department and Park City Fire District.
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