Nearly a dozen local Red Cross workers are headed for flood ravaged Colorado for the next 10 to 14 days.
They’ll hit the ground overseeing field operations and staffing shelters.
Coloradans are still digging out from those floods, which have been up to 1,000-year events in some communities.
A stream of unusually humid air that was sweeping over the area early last week helped fuel the storms. High pressure east of the mountains bumped up against a low-pressure system to the west, triggering several days of storms as moist air flowed up the peaks of the Rockies, where cold air wrung the water out of it.
The rain began September 10, with an inch recorded in Boulder. Nearly two inches fell the next day. Then on September 12, Boulder recorded 9.08 inches of rain — nearly double the city’s previous one-day record, and almost half its 20.5-inch yearly average. A forecaster in the National Weather Service office there called it “biblical.”
More than 4 more inches of rain fell by the week’s end, bringing the September total to more than 17 inches so far. That’s boosted the yearly precipitation figure, measured from October through September, to more than 30 inches to date — the most in 120 years of record-keeping.
The result was six dead and about 200 who remained unaccounted for, though most of those are believed to be alive and well. Boulder County reduced its count from 109 people to four still unaccounted for on Wednesday, while in Larimer County, to the north, the number remained at 197.
Nearly 18,000 homes have been damaged statewide. Now the runoff is coursing down the South Platte into neighboring Nebraska, where forecasters are warning of flooding into the weekend.
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