Nearly 500 Unaccounted for in Colorado Flooding, Death Toll Expected to Rise, Officials Say

(Credit: ABC News)

Update: The number of people unaccounted for in the Colorado floods rose Sunday to 1,254, USA Today reports. Many were reported unreachable on the phone by family members. “We don’t expect to find 1,254 fatalities,” said Micki Trost, spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The continuing rain in Colorado Sunday has preventing aerial searches for what CNN reports as nearly 500 people unaccounted for in a devastating flood, authorities said.

Presently four people are confirmed dead, and a fifth is presumed dead – an 80-year-old injured woman who couldn’t leave her home, CNN reports, adding that officials say the death toll will likely rise.

CNN adds that the National Guard grounded all helicopters in the state.

“It’s unlikely at this point that we’ll be able to reach those who are stranded in the hard-to-reach areas,” said Kim Kobel, a spokesperson for Boulder’s Office of Emergency Management.

More from CNN:

A tearful Larimer County sheriff told reporters that what he’s seen, even in the most devastated areas, has restored his hope.

Sheriff Justin Smith visited areas “somewhat cut off from the rest of the world,” he said.

The roads and homes might be gone, but Smith said “inch by inch, mile by mile, community by community, they are taking this stuff back.”

Here’s a report from the AP:

And an update from ABC News:

This is a developing story; updates will be added.

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