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1 confirmed dead following major flooding near Cameron Peak Fire burn scar; at least 2 missing

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:26 PM MDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:45 PM MDT
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KKTV) - Catastrophic flooding in northern Colorado has left one person dead and at least two others missing.

Evacuations were lifted Wednesday for residents living along Highway 14 west of Fort Collins, but the recovery is far from over.

“With bridges out and debris not allowing us to cross the river, we aren’t able to finish assessing the damage at this time,” electric co-op Poudre Valley REA tweeted late Tuesday night.

The Poudre River has been closed for all use, effective Wednesday afternoon. The restrictions are expected to continue through the weekend. Highway 14 was closed during the flash flooding, but reopened Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m.

As rain fell near the site of last year’s Cameron Peak Fire -- now the state’s largest burn scar -- the Poudre River swelled until it overflowed, taking trees and debris with it, as dramatic video from a doorbell camera shows:

“A resident from Black Hollow Road described a fairly typical rain coming down just prior to the flooding, which came down Black Hollow Creek. He said that the washing of soil and trees came as a complete surprise. We don’t have a definitive count, but it appears several structures along Black Hollow Road were damaged or destroyed,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said in a Facebook post.

“I personally witnessed significant debris and damage in the area, caused by downed trees, damaged and destroyed homes and mudflow in the area,” he said of what he saw Tuesday night.

Divers are still trying to reach the deceased woman and a car that were swept up in the river, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said mid-morning Wednesday. Search operation for the two missing people, both adults, are also underway.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with overdue family and friends in the canyon to call the Joint Information Center to provide information. That number is 970-980-2500.

Smith said despite evacuations no longer in effect, the risk for debris flow damage remains Wednesday.

The below map shows the area affected Tuesday night

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