Officials continue to assess flood damage
Last Updated: 15:10 September 17, 2013
The total number actually suffering damage is still likely a few days from being tallied.
County, city and rescue officials updated the status of their efforts and ways people could seek assistance at a press briefing Tuesday morning at the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.
Dan Dallas, an incident commander with the RMIMT, said that as municipalities work through rescue efforts and assessing damage in their own communities his agency is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the mountains and foothills and working their way to lower ground.
As of Monday, the RMIMT and FEMA had surveyed hundreds of structures. Of those, Dallas said his teams had tallied 120 homes that have been completely destroyed, along with one destroyed commercial building.
In some cases, officials were surprised by what was left standing, said Tom Miner, an incident support team leader for FEMA. The majority of structures, he said, are OK.
"I think people are going to be surprised at the number of homes in the area versus the number of homes that are gone or destroyed," Miner said.
Still, the number of homes and businesses damaged could reach the hundreds, if not thousands, by the time local and federal agencies pool their counts in urban and rural areas.
Ricardo Zuniga, a FEMA spokesman, said that 6,400 Boulder County individuals had already registered with FEMA for assistance that so far totals $430,000. He said those who have yet to register can do so by calling 800-621-3362, go online to www.disasterassistance.gov, or visit m.fema.gov on their smartphones.
Zuniga said registering doesn't guarantee funding, but that not registering does guarantee individuals will not receive assistance. Businesses are not eligible for FEMA assistance, but said that individuals and businesses alike could be eligible for low-interest loans for repairs from the Small Business Administration.
Commander Heidi Prentup with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said that on Monday 215 people were airlifted out of flood-stricken areas. There have been three confirmed fatalities in Boulder County, and 183 people remained unaccounted for as of Monday.
Ryan Huff, a University of Colorado police department spokesman, said that 80 buildings on campus had suffered flood damage. Most of it, however, was minor, he said. And no labs or instructional facilities had been damaged. The Coors Events Center has been set up as an evacuation center. The webpage www.colorado.edu/2013flood has been set up to provide resources for students affected by the flood.
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