South Mississippians to aid Colorado flood victims

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Four South Mississippi Red Cross workers have packed their bags for a mission to Colorado.  A couple from Petal, and volunteers from Biloxi and Beaumont have been asked to help with the initial flood recovery efforts near the Rocky Mountains.

They'll be at the American Red Cross office in Biloxi this morning to get their orders.  From there, they head to the airport for a lunchtime flight to Denver.

Their expertise is in disaster assessment.  So, once they get to the Denver area, a Red Cross spokesperson says these seasoned volunteers will head right out into Colorado's flooded neighborhoods and begin to document just how much damage the powerful flood waters did to homes, businesses and other property.

Rescue crews in Colorado say the number of emergency calls is dropping after they've rescued hundreds more people stranded by floodwaters.

State officials say as many as eight people are believed to be dead. Fewer than 650 people are listed as missing and officials hope the number will continue to decline as the stranded get in touch with families.

The death toll is expected to increase but officials say it could take weeks or even months to search through flood-ravaged areas looking for people who died.

As skies clear and floodwaters recede, the number of emergency airlifts is tapering off. The Colorado National Guard says more than 2,300 people and 850 pets have been airlifted to safety.

Colorado counties report about 19,000 homes either damaged or destroyed.

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