FLOOD RECOVERY EFFORTS UNDERWAY
LONGMONT (AP) – Colorado officials say the emergency response to the flood disaster is ending and the long and arduous task of recovery has begun. Sheriff Joe Pelle said Wednesday that rescue workers are ending “high octane” search-and-rescue operations. Searchers are now going door-to-door and looking through debris piles and vehicles for victims and damage in the flood-scarred areas of the foothills. Those crews include Federal Emergency Management Agency urban search-and-rescue teams with search dogs and medical supplies. Lt. Col. Mitch Utterback of the Colorado National Guard says some of the helicopters flying rescue missions may be returned to Fort Carson.
As the airlifts taper off, so have the number of missing. State emergency officials say that number was just over 300 by Wednesday morning. There have been six confirmed deaths.
FLOOD WATERS HEADING EAST TOWARD NEBRASKA
JULESBURG (AP) – Damage from flooding in far northeastern Colorado has been limited so far, but more water is still coming. Volunteers in Ovid built a dike in the lowest part of town overnight, preventing more serious flooding. The South Platte River stayed within its banks when it reached Julesburg.
FLOODING DAMAGES RAIL LINES
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Union Pacific railroad is repairing flood-damaged tracks in Colorado, and working to protect its main line crossing Nebraska as the floodwaters flow east into the Plains. Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis says flooding damaged about 20 miles of its line west over the mountains out of Denver and damaged another 19 miles of track between Denver and Cheyenne, Wyo.
GESSLER RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR
DENVER (AP) – Secretary of State Scott Gessler has joined the Colorado GOP governor’s race. The Denver Post reports Gessler said he believes Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is vulnerable. Republican state Sen. Greg Brophy has also announced he is running for governor in next year’s election.