Colorado Roads Reopen As Floodwaters Recede

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(Denver, CO) More highways in northern Colorado that were cut off because of destructive flooding last week are being reopened, helping reduce the number of people in need of emergency shelters and, transportation officials hope, reducing traffic congestion in heavily populated areas along the Front Range.

“I think for a lot of people it’s not returning to normal, per se, but it’s starting to get there with some of these roads being reopened,” said Amy Ford, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports from Lyons, Colo., that the town sustained so much damage it will take months before things can return to normal. There are no power, sewer or water services. The bridges are out. The town is virtually deserted except for a few police officers to deter looting.

The American Red Cross said fewer people are using their shelters now that they have access to their homes with some of the roads reopened. At the height of the disaster, more than 1,000 people were in shelter, compared to the 250 people in shelters Saturday, said Carmela Burke, a Red Cross volunteer.

Still, the Red Cross planned to deliver 17 truckloads of supplies to flood victims this weekend, she said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is continuing to increase aid to those in flood-ravaged areas. So far, FEMA has distributed $12.3 million in aid, with the vast majority going to helping people find temporary rentals or making house repairs, said FEMA spokesman Jerry DeFelice.

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