News, September 23rd


DENVER (AP) – Vice President Joe Biden visited Colorado Monday, taking a helicopter tour of flood damage and surveying recovery efforts. Biden arrived at Buckley Air Force Base and boarded an Army Blackhawk helicopter for the tour. His helicopter flew over flood-affected areas in Broomfield, Boulder, Estes Park, Loveland and Greeley before landing in Greeley, where Biden took a motorcade for a briefing by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At times it was difficult to see specific flood damage from the air, with the exception of roads wiped out by the flooding. Creeks and rivers were still very swollen along Front Range canyons. Some roads were buried beneath mud. Area reservoirs were full, brimming with brown-colored water. Biden arrived at a Federal Emergency Management Center in Greeley and was given a tour of the facility by FEMA’s administrator, Craig Fugate. Biden was accompanied by members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, including Sen. Michael Bennet and Reps. Mike Coffman and Cory Gardner.


DENVER (AP) – Authorities say the body of a 79-year-old woman has been found, bringing the death toll from recent flash floods to eight. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Department says the woman was found on the bank of the Big Thompson River on Saturday. Authorities say the woman was one of three people considered missing and presumed dead. Six people remain unaccounted for.


DENVER (AP) – Former Colorado Republican Gov. John Vanderhoof died last week. He was 91. He became governor when Gov. John Love joined the Nixon administration in 1973. Vanderhoof lost to Democrat Richard Lamm in 1974. Vanderhoof also served in the state House and was a business executive and banker.


DENVER (AP) – Two more oil spills have been found in northern Colorado as a result of flooding.  State regulators said Monday that the latest spills are a 36 barrel release at a Noble Energy location between Evans and LaSalle as well as a 26 barrel spill at an Anadarko Petroleum site near Johnstown.  Eight significant releases have been found since inspectors started getting a look at the damage caused by flooding along the South Platte River and its tributaries. A total of 641 barrels of oil, about 27,000 gallons, have spilled. That’s the amount held by two typical storage tanks.  It’s not clear what cleanup work is still under way. Much of the oil from the first reported spills was swept away in the flood waters.  About 1,300 oil and gas wells remain shut down.


DENVER (AP) – A storm that brought up to four inches of snow to Colorado’s High Country and light rain to the Front Range is moving out. The National Weather Service said snow fell Monday at the Eisenhower Tunnel, Leadville and other places along the Continental Divide. Rain caused minor problems in areas on the Front Range ravaged by floods over the past week and a half, but there were no reports of major flooding. Several highways including Interstate-70 near Vail were closed briefly by traffic accidents. On Sunday, a storm closed streets and highways around Durango and La Plata County, and in Byers, the Riot Fest outdoor music festival was evacuated because of severe weather.