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As rescue efforts continue for survivors in flood-ravaged Colorado, AmeriCares is deploying relief staff to the hardest hit areas, to assess immediate needs and connect with partner organizations helping communities suffering amid the devastation.
"We expect to have a relief worker on the ground in Colorado today to assess urgent needs," said Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares vice president of emergency response. "As the disaster continues to unfold, we will work with our partners to meet the needs of ill, injured and displaced survivors."
Unusually intense late- summer storms battered the state from September 9-13, funneling raging torrents of water down narrow mountain canyons into heavily populated foothills. Continued heavy rains in the area have severely hampered rescue operations. The historic flooding inundated 15 counties across at least 2,380 square miles. According to state officials, Boulder and Larimer counties suffered the worst damages.
The floodwaters washed out dams, swamped roads, destroyed more than 1,500 structures, and damaged thousands more. More than 30 bridges were destroyed, and 20 more severely damaged, stranding thousands. So far, more than 2,000 of the stranded were rescued by air and more by ground. An estimated 11,700 people have been evacuated, and state officials estimate that more than 1,800 evacuees are staying in 26 shelters across the state. The floods have claimed 5 lives, and more than 1,200 people remain unaccounted for.
AmeriCares emergency response to flood disasters often includes medicines to treat flood-related health conditions, family emergency kits including hygiene and personal care items for displaced survivors, household cleanup kits with supplies to help families returning to their flood-damaged homes, as well as medicines for patients with chronic diseases who don't have access to their medications while they are displaced.