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Severe flooding hits Colorado and New Mexico, U.S.

severe-flood-colorado-new-mexico-july-2021

At least 3 people have been killed and 3 others remain missing after severe flooding hit parts of Colorado and New Mexico, U.S. late Tuesday (LT), July 20, 2021.

At 01:44 UTC on July 21, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office in northern Colorado issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents and business occupants in the area of Highway 14 from Rustic to Ted's Place (Highway 14/Highway 287) due to immediate and imminent danger.

"Avoid areas subject to flooding including dips, low spots, ditches, etc. and do not attempt to cross flowing streams or creeks. If driving, be aware that the road may not be intact under floodwaters."

"Never drive through flooded roadways – turn around and go another way. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. If you cannot leave the area, move to higher ground immediately."

The evacuation order was lifted at 04:30 UTC but residents were asked to remain alert to the weather conditions in the event additional evacuations may be necessary.

A large mudslide event was reported in the Poudre Canyon in Larimer County, sweeping away three people. Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said the body of one of the victims was found but 2 people are still missing.

At least five houses were destroyed and several roads damaged.

The storms also hit the El Dorado area, NE of Albuquerque, New Mexico after 42.1 mm (1.6 inches) of rain fell in just one hour. 

Three people went missing after they were swept into the water channel in Albuquerque. Firefighters recovered two bodies on Wednesday.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) spokesman Tom Ruiz said they will keep looking over the area on foot and with drones.

Water levels in the channel were about 1.8 m (6 feet) high, moving at about 8 m (25 feet) per second, Ruiz said, adding these were among the highest levels he has ever seen in his 17 years at AFR.

NWS said the foothills got more than 25 mm (1 inch) of rain in under 15 minutes.

Featured image credit: Larimer County Sheriff's Office

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