"Helicopters are expected to be back in the air in a major way Monday" over the 15 counties across Colorado's Front Range where historic flooding has killed at least six people, left hundreds more stranded and unaccounted for, and forced nearly 12,000 to evacuate their homes, our colleagues at KUNC report.
Bad weather grounded the helicopters Sunday, leaving many people still waiting for help or to be evacuated.
According to KUNC:
"The number reported missing has fluctuated. As of Sunday afternoon the estimate was 1,253 — with most of those being in Larimer County. Many areas, like Estes Park, were without phone or cell service but have slowly been regaining contact, leading to rapid changes in the unaccounted for.
"Officials are slowly accounting for residents, as they cross reference names with Red Cross and shelter listings. 'So we have a master list that will get shorter — hopefully far, far shorter, and time goes by and we cross reference where each of those parties are,' said Nick Christenson with the Larimer County Sheriff's office.
"The death toll rose over the weekend. In addition to four previously announced fatalities in Colorado Springs, Jamestown, and Boulder, two women — one 60 and the other 80 — are both missing and presumed dead in the Cedar Grove area of the Big Thompson Canyon."
While the weather should be good enough to get helicopters back into the sky, The Denver Post warns that "more rain is expected and dry, blue skies aren't likely until Wednesday or Thursday. 'It's a little bit drier, but we're definitely not out of the woods yet,' Todd Dankers, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said Sunday."
According to the Los Angeles Times, about 1,500 buildings have been destroyed by flooding over the past week. Nearly 17,500 have been damaged, the Times adds. About 2,400 square miles of area have been affected.
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