UPDATE: 1:00 pm- Three people are now missing and presumed dead due to the flooding in Larimer County.
According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s office, on Thursday, September 19th a total of three people are missing and presumed dead due to the flooding in Larimer County.
An 80-year-old woman and a 60-year-old woman were unable to leave their homes, which were both in the Cedar Cove area, and washed away when family and friends went to get help.
In addition, a 46-year-old man’s home also washed away while family and friends were in the process of seeking aid. His home was in the Drake area.
This is a developing story, stay with the Collegian for more updates.
Friday, the 13th at 2:30 pm: First flood fatality reported in Larimer County
A 60 year old female was swept away by the Big Thompson river near Cedar Cove and presumed dead.
“(This was) a tragic incident that underscores the tragedy of the situation,” said Nick Christensen, executive officer of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department.
The Sheriff’s Department is not yet releasing the name of the victim, whose house was described as ‘ripped apart’ during the incident.
This woman may not be alone in tragedy. Christensen stated there is a high possibility of other fatalities and injuries, based on the amount of damage in the Big Thompson river area.
“We hope (the number of fatalities) is a small number, but it is certainly concerning,” Christensen said.
As of now there are still many in need of evacuation. At least 120 in Big Elk Meadow and 1,200 in the Pinewood Springs area are still stranded. The Sheriff’s Department is unsure of the number for Big Thompson canyon, and will be investigating this further today.
Poudre Canyon, which has been on evacuation alert for 3 days, has yet to report any stranded or injured victims.
“We are putting Poudre in the ‘no news is good news’ category,” Christensen said.
Those concerned for the evacuees in any of these areas are advised to use the ‘safe and well’ function on the Red Cross website. Family and friends can use this function to search for their loved ones.
Though these evacuees and injured parties are being put on priority, there are other concerns from citizens affected by the flood. The latest problem has been an uncomfortable smell of propane reported by citizens in Loveland. John Schulz, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Department, commented on the issue.
“We discovered (that) there were some propane tanks that had been taken out and were floating down and releasing propane,” Schulz said.
Currently, no solution has been found for this problem. Citizens are strongly advised to stay out of flood water to avoid dangerous debris such as fuels and wastes from septic tanks.
“Our message is stay out of the water,” Christensen said.
Though this debris is a serious issue, the Sheriff’s Department has had its hands full with the large number of evacuations needed.
“The good news is that we’re getting people out, and there are a lot of survivors,” Christensen said.
Collegian City Beat Reporter Caitlin Curley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.