At Least 3 Dead in Colorado Flash Floods

The flooding occurred in an area that has been ravaged by recent wildfires.,


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Three people are killed and a fourth is missing after a flood rushes through Northern Colorado.

Debris along the Poudre River after a flood and mudslide destroyed an area near Rustic, Colo., last week.Credit…Bethany Baker/The Coloradoan, via Associated Press

July 27, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET

Three people were killed and one remains missing after a flood and mudslide destroyed an area in Northern Colorado last week. One local official said that recent wildfires, including the Cameron Peak Fire last year, may be to blame.

On Monday, search teams recovered the body of a man from the Poudre River near the community of Rustic, about 100 miles northwest of Denver. That followed the discovery of two other bodies, a man and a woman, since flooding in the area last week caused a mudslide that destroyed at least six homes and damaged a road.

One woman remains missing. Justin Smith, the sheriff of Larimer County, said in a statement that the four people, who were not identified, were all associated with same residence.

The area where the flooding and mudslide occurred was the site of the Cameron Peak Fire, which started in August 2020 and burned over 200,000 acres through December, becoming the largest wildfire in Colorado’s history.

“This tragedy was a glimpse into the challenges that homeowners and recreators will continue to face” as wildfires leave lasting effects on the land, Sheriff Smith said.

“Hydrologists and other experts have evaluated the burn areas and have provided a glimpse into the potential for excessive runoff, mudflows and tree slides across the burn area,” he said. “Once ordinary rains will continue to create damaging and sometimes deadly effects.”

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