Military helicopters have become a constant presence in the skies above flood-hit Colorado. The choppers have now flown almost 2,400 people to safety. But state officials say around 581 are still unaccounted for while six people have died.
The authorities are constantly updating those figures and its feared the number who have perished will rise. It is believed many of the missing have been cut off in remote areas.
Lloyd Mueller, a member of a search and rescue team working close to several homes, explained their tactics.
“Anything could come down the stream at any moment. We’re not making accesses into the house, we’re just checking in through the windows and doors and shouting out to see if anybody calls out they need help. We are also offering help if there are pets out there also, to try to get them in. We are in a search and rescue mission right now in houses that have not been searched at all,” he said.
Almost 12,000 have been evacuated from their homes across the state in what are the worst floods for four decades. Transport links have been devastated with around 400 miles of state highway and 30 bridges destroyed or impassable.
It is estimated the rebuilding effort will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take months, if not years.