Biblical rain, hellish fireBy AP | Last updated: Sep 20, 2013 - 9:35:54 AM
ESTES PARK, Colo. - Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. Anxious home and business owners hurriedly cleaned and cleared what they could salvage as rescuers looked for a break in the weather Sept. 16 to resume airlifting those still stranded.
Emergency officials offered a first glimpse at the scope of the damage. Counties reported some 1,500 homes have been destroyed and about 17,500 damaged, according to an initial estimate released Sept. 15 by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.
At Final Call press time, state emergency officials reported more than 1,200 people total had not been heard from, but that number already was dropping as Larimer County said it had made contact with hundreds of people previously unaccounted for.
The death toll remained at four confirmed fatalities and two missing and presumed dead.
Meanwhile, blocks of a Jersey shore boardwalk that had been rebuilt just five months ago after being destroyed by Superstorm Sandy were destroyed Sept. 12, by an alleged act of arson. There were no reported injuries.
Seaside Park officials began planning efforts on Sept. 13, to rebuild their part of the boardwalk, at the southern end, where the fire began near a frozen custard stand. Bob Martucci, the borough administrator, said it will cost $600,000 to rebuild the borough-owned boardwalk.