By Robert Garrison
DENVER (KUSA) - The floods have spread across the Front Range in 15 counties - almost 200 miles from north to south.
The Colorado Office of Emergency Management is reporting at least 7 fatalities and at least 658 people are unaccounted for (though this number is changing throughout the day.)
Days of massive flooding destroyed some 1,500 homes and damaged about 17,500, according to an initial estimate released by the Colorado OEM.
Speaking on NBC's "Today" show, Gov. Hickenlooper said he hopes that a majority of people unaccounted for are "safe and sound." However, he said, authorities expect the death toll to rise.
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The National Guard has rescued 2,100 people - 60 from Jamestown and Big Elk Mountain Monday. The Office of Emergency Management is urging people who are cut off by flood waters and need to evacuate but have been unable to communicate by phone or other means to signal helicopters passing overhead with sheets, mirrors, flares or signal fires.
The town of Lyons, about 20 miles from Estes Park, was almost completely abandoned. Emergency crews gave the few remaining residents, mostly wandering aimlessly on Main Street, looking for status updates from each other, a final warning to leave Sunday.
There are more than 500 people in 26 shelters in the area.
Thirty state highway bridges have been destroyed, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Twenty have severe damage. CDOT expects that number to go up.
Damages have not been assessed on many roadways, including U.S. Highways 34, Highway 72 and Highway 36. It is expected that they will have significant damage.
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Twelve additional counties have been added to Thursday's presidential emergency disaster declaration for the flooding in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties.
The additional counties include Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Morgan, Logan, Pueblo, Washington and Weld counties.
• Current impact area: 875 square miles
• Reported Missing: 472 (approximately)
Helicopter searches and airlifts have resumed as the weather cleared and the sun shone over flood-damaged mountain towns.
MORE: Flood coverage in Colorado
Ten military helicopters took off from Boulder Municipal Airport late Monday morning after being grounded most of the morning because of rain and clouds.
Colorado National Guard Lt. James Goff says 19 helicopters are available for search-and-rescue operations.
Crews are searching for pockets of individuals still stranded from flooding that began late last week.
• Current impact area: 1,120 Square miles
• Reported Missing
• 1,000 residents remain in remote locations
• There are 2 confirmed reports of missing/presumed dead
Initial estimates show approximately 1,500 residential homes in Larimer County have been destroyed with an expected number of 4,500 homes damaged. There are also estimated 200 businesses destroyed and 500 businesses with damage in Larimer County.
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Some areas in Larimer County experienced a 100 year flood and other areas experienced a 1,000 year flood. It all depends on where the heaviest rain fell. Areas with more extensive damage experienced the 1,000 year flooding.
Larimer County officials are reporting 398 people missing amid massive flooding, down 245 from previous estimates.
The sheriff's office said Monday that 213 people had been located and 32 other names on the list turned out to be duplicates.