Poudre Canyon Flood: Officials Recover More Bodies, Bringing Death Toll To Three

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Colorado State Patrol and CDOT crews manage evacuees coming out of the Poudre Canyon at Ted’s Place near Fort Collins after the Larimer Sheriff’s Office ordered the canyon evacuated ahead of a flash flood Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Update on 7/27 at 10:54 a.m.: The body of a third person who died during flooding and mudslides in Poudre Canyon has been found. One person is still missing. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office was notified Monday that a man’s body was found in the Poudre River, a day after another man was found dead in the waterway. Last week, a woman’s body was found near the small community of Rustic after a mudslide sent a wave of debris into the Poudre Canyon. Our original story with this update continues below.

A man’s body was recovered in the search for people who went missing during last week’s flash flood in the upper part of the Poudre Canyon, Larimer County officials confirmed Sunday. On Monday, the body of a third person was found. This brings the death count from the flood up to three.

On person remains missing. Officials have been using heavy machinery and trained dogs to investigate piles of debris left over from destroyed homes for signs of the missing. Members of Larimer County Search and Rescue and Larimer County Regional Crisis Response Team aided in the efforts.

Officials also released updated figures on damaged structures. Six houses and one detached garage were destroyed. One home sustained major damage. All buildings were on Black Hollow Road along Colorado 14. 

The Poudre River remains closed. The Sheriff’s office said water levels have decreased dramatically, which allowed them to search for missing people in areas previously submerged by water. 

In a release on Sunday night, the Sheriff's office thanked agencies that helped the search, and said it would be suspended.

"With evident and planned areas well searched, search teams will not be fielded again unless new information presents a need," said the release.

Last week’s flooding occurred around the burn scar of the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest recorded fire in the state’s history. More than 30 miles of Colorado 14, between Rustic and the intersection with Colorado 287, closed and was evacuated Tuesday after an inch of rain caused debris from the burn scar to flow downstream and flood the river.