LYONS, Colo. (AP) — Days of rain and flooding have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills affectionately known as the "Gore-Tex Vortex" from a paradise into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services — and more rain is falling.
The surging waters have been deadly, with four people confirmed dead and two more missing and presumed dead after their homes were swept away.
According to initial estimates by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, some 1,500 homes have been destroyed and about 17,500 have been damaged.
In addition, state emergency officials say 11,700 people left their homes, and more than 1,200 people have not been heard from.
With phone service being restored to some of the areas, officials hope that number would drop as they contact more stranded people.
As many as 1,000 people in Larimer County are awaiting rescue, but airlifts have been grounded because of the rain.
Hundreds more people are unaccounted for to the south in Boulder County and other flood-affected areas.