Update: Poudre River search efforts suspended, three dead recovered

Noah Pasley

graphic depicting a satellite beacon with the text "Breaking News" in all caps
(Graphic Illustration by Malia Berry | The Collegian)

Update: July 28, 4 p.m.

According to a July 28 press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, all search efforts in the Poudre Canyon following the Black Hollow Flood have been suspended until further leads about the sole missing female adult are received. The missing person was identified as Diana Brown, 57, of Texas, and was known to be with the other three adult victims, who have been identified as Patricia Brown, 59; Richard Brown, 85; and David Brown, 61; according to press releases from the Larimer County Coroner.

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The press release added that individuals in the mountains should remain aware of closure orders and weather reports and make sure to communicate their plans to other people in case of an emergency. Individuals caught in flash flood conditions should also climb to safety instead of attempting to outrun or drive across floodwaters.  

“Our thoughts and sympathy are with the survivors,” the press release stated. “This tragic incident illustrates how quickly conditions in the canyons can change, and with continuing weather patterns favoring monsoon rain over the burn scars from last year’s record-setting wildfires, we urge everyone to use the utmost caution while recreating in the mountains.”

Update: July 28, 10 a.m.

Two deceased adult males were recovered from the Poudre River near the 92 mile marker, according to a July 26 press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. One adult female is still unaccounted for.

On July 22, the Larimer County sheriff lifted use restrictions on the Poudre River below Rustic, Colorado, with closures still in place between the Poudre River State Fish Hatchery and Rustic while debris removal is underway, according to the press release

According to the press release, the Larimer County Damage Assessment Team determined that six residential structures and one detached garage were destroyed by the flooding, and one residential structure was damaged, all of which were on Black Hollow Road. All owners have been notified.

Original article:

The Poudre River is closed for all use by order of the Larimer County sheriff, as debris removal and disaster relief efforts are underway, according to a July 21 press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. At least one person is dead and three are missing after flooding and mudslides occurred in the Poudre Canyon July 20.

The closure is likely to last through the weekend, but Highway 14 has been reopened for traffic. The river closure will be reassessed and adjusted if conditions warrant it, according to the release. The area subject to restrictions is from the mouth of the canyon down to the Poudre River State Fish Hatchery at 38195 Poudre Canyon Road. 

According to the press release, engineering crews, under the direction of the Larimer County Office of Emergency Management, will be assessing the structural integrity of bridges below the slide area, as a “tremendous amount of debris (trees, mud, rocks and structures)” was washed into the river. The LCSO release said also that there is potential for further flooding in the next few days.

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The LCSO received reports of flooding in the Poudre Canyon above Rustic, Colorado, on July 20 at roughly 6:05 p.m., according to a corrected July 21 press release from the LCSO. In addition to the flooding, a mudslide occurred near Black Hollow Road and washed a large amount of debris into the river, damaging at least five structures and the roadway. 

According to the release, one deceased, an adult female, was located in the flood, and divers from the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team recovered the body. Divers will also be attempting to recover a passenger vehicle found in the river. According to the release, search efforts are also underway for two adult males and an adult female who are confirmed missing. 

Noah Pasley can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PasleyNoah.