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Boulder air rescues expected to resume Monday

Sep 16th, 2013 - National News

— Boulder authorities say resumed air rescue efforts are planned for today.

The Office of Emergency Management says that the weather is expected to be clear enough to allow helicopters to take to the skies to rescue flood victims.

The officials are urging people who have been unable to communicate by phone or other means to signal helicopters passing overhead any way they can, including sheets, mirrors, flares or signal fires.

Many communities are still cut off by flooding from a week of heavy mountain rains. Rain hampered the helicopter searches yesterday, and rescuers trekked by ground to reach some isolated homes. The surging waters have been deadly, with four people confirmed killed and two more missing and presumed dead.

Emergency officials say some 1,500 homes have been destroyed and about 17,500 have been damaged by the flooding that began in the middle of last week. More than 1,200 people have not been heard from.

— Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is meeting with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate (FYOO'-gayt) today to let the public know how they are responding to massive flooding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending two 80-person search-and-rescue teams to assist with continuing rescues in Larimer County and providing aid to other communities following massive flooding that began Wednesday along the Front Range.

Hickenlooper tells ABC's "Good Morning America" that 16 or 17 helicopters will resume searching for stranded residents today. Noting that many people have been without any kind of phone or Internet communications since the middle of last week, he says the focus of the effort is to make sure everyone in harm's way gets "out of there."

Emergency officials say four people are confirmed dead and more than 1,200 people have not been heard from. Hickenlooper says while the death toll is expected to rise, he's hopeful that the vast majority of those people are "safe and sound."

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