USA TODAY - The number of people unaccounted for in flood-ravaged Colorado rose Sunday to about 1,000 as flooding spread to 15 counties and rain continued to fall.
Many of those unaccounted for were reported unreachable on the phone by family members.
"We don't expect to find 1,000 fatalities," said Micki Trost, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Four fatalities - three in Boulder County and one in El Paso County - have been confirmed since the rain began Wednesday evening. Still the number of fatalities could rise. An 80-year-old woman in Larimer County's Cedar Grove was missing and presumed dead after her home was washed away by the flooding Big Thompson River, the county sheriff's office said Sunday. The woman was injured and unable to leave her home Friday night, sheriff's spokesman John Schulz said. A 60-year-old woman is also presumed dead after the river destroyed her home the same night.
Some people just don't know what's come of their relatives. A Dallas man saw a photo of his mother's Big Thompson Canyon home in ruins on a Denver TV website. "I don't know that she's even OK," Rob Clements told The Coloradoan about his mother, Libby Orr, 73, with whom he last spoke on Thursday. "I presume she is. But her house, if not completely gone, fell into the river and is most of the way gone."
Many roads and bridges in the state are damaged or destroyed, said Amy Ford, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Crews are assessing the extent of the damage, which will cost "hundreds of millions" of dollars to repair, she said.
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