National News

Sep 19, 2013 5:24 PM

Hundreds Missing in Colorado

COLORADO (NBC News) - In flood ravaged Colorado, more problems today as thousands of people are assessing damage, cleaning up, and in some areas, bracing for more flooding.

A survey of the area and you could see volunteers helping neighbors rip out drywall, sort debris, and clear layers of thick black mud.

The call for help came from Facebook.

"The group message started growing as people were saying hey i would love to help," said one homeowner.

That help was badly needed, as residents returned to what's left of their homes and began to fully realize the scope of devastation.

"Obviously mother nature is very powerful but when you watch what humanity and what human nature can do, that's just as equal in my mind," said homeowner Debbie Setlock.

Among the communities nearly wiped out, the town of Evans where more than 100 homes are damaged or destroyed, and only 8 remain livable.

"Devastated; you open the door and just the smell of it knocks you over. It's hard to breathe in there," Evans resident Tom Brothe said.

With the threat of even more flooding along the South Platte River in northeastern Colorado, crews are trying to clean up more than 5,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the river Wednesday near the town of Milliken.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation's web site says two groups of its tanks were damaged by the flood.

They've placed booms in the water he water to try to keep the oil from spreading.

So far, close to hundreds of people have been rescued by air or ground crews but about 200 are still missing, including retired math teacher and coach, Gerry Boland from Lyons, Colorado.

He was last seen leaving a shelter, where he was looking for his wife.

"We're only a couple thousand people, everybody is important. Everyone knows everyone so it's very important," said Lyons resident Kim Doering.

The threat of more flooding looms in the northeastern part of the state.

That's where warnings will remain at least until Monday because of the swollen South Platte River.

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