Tuesday , September 24, 2013 - 11:45 AM
DENVER -- Four people who were listed as unaccounted for in the Colorado floods have contacted authorities to say they are alive and well, leaving two people who haven't been heard from and a third who is missing and presumed dead, officials said Tuesday.
The number of confirmed dead remained at eight.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Department said the four people called authorities after their names were made public on Monday.
"That was the intent, right?" sheriff's spokesman John Schulz said.
Schulz said deputies still hope to hear from the two still listed as unaccounted for.
The floods, which started in earnest on Sept. 12, caused damage across nearly 2,000 square miles. Nearly 2,000 homes were damaged or destroyed along with more than 200 miles of state highways and 50 state bridges.
No official estimate has been released on the cost of the floods.
Vice President Joe Biden flew over some of the damage on Monday and promised that federal aid won't stop even if the federal government shuts down.
"I promise you, I promise you, there will be help," he said after his tour in an Army Black Hawk helicopter.
The floods are also blamed for spills of about 27,000 gallons of oil in northern Colorado oil fields, including two mishaps found over the weekend, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said.
The commission said it is tracking eight notable leaks, 10 other locations with some evidence of leaks, and 33 places where oilfield equipment appears damaged but no evidence of spills has been spotted. About 1,300 oil and gas wells remain shut down.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Kersey area in northeastern Colorado, saying water from recent rain will continue to move down the South Platte River on Tuesday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had approved $22.1 million in individual assistance, most of it to help people to repair homes or find temporarily rentals. More than 15,600 people have applied for FEMA relief.
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