DENVER - The state of Colorado will receive $63 million from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to support long-term disaster recovery efforts from damage caused by the September flood in areas with the greatest extent of "unmet need," primarily in Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties.

HUD secretary Shaun Donovan made the announcement Thursday as he toured hard hit areas in Lyons and Evans along with Gov. Hickenlooper, and U.S. Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Michael Bennet, D- Colo.

HUD soon will publish a notice that will regulate the use of the funds. The state of Colorado then will finalize disaster "action plans" describing how it intends to expend the money, and HUD will review them.

"Today, we make an initial down payment toward helping homeowners and businesses get back on their feet," Donovan said. "While we can never truly replace the homes and businesses that were lost because of this natural disaster, it's my hope that these funds will help Coloradans move forward with rebuilding their lives and their communities."

"CDBG resources will help a wide range of recovery efforts, from individual home owners and businesses repairing damaged property, to cities and towns reconstructing roads, bridges, and public spaces," Bennet said. "This funding is critical for a number of small Colorado towns overwhelmed by this disaster to help finance rebuilding costs. This is another big step forward as Colorado builds back better than before."

Based upon the most current disaster data, 80 percent of the recovery funds announced today must be spent in the most impacted counties of Boulder, Weld, and Larimer. HUD anticipates that as more damage data becomes available, the department will provide the Colorado additional recovery funds in 2014.