Targeted rescues continued yesterday and a total of 28 people were rescued and brought to the Timberline Church evacuation center. Rescue operations remain a top priority; however, we are beginning a slow transition into the assessment/recovery mode for long term planning. A cold front dropped into the area last night, bringing lower temperatures, rain and a chance for afternoon thunderstorms. The additional rain that fell overnight and during the early morning hours did not cause any additional flooding issues.
• There are 15 helicopters flying missions today to help with rescue operations.
• At this time we are estimating that approximately 120 people in Storm Mountain Area and another 73 people in Pinewood Springs have chosen to shelter in place and remain in their homes. We are still working on compiling an exact list of how many residents are choosing to shelter in place and making sure they are aware of the ramifications of their choice to stay behind.
• Sheriff Justin Smith flew into the Storm Mountain area to meet with residents choosing to shelter in place and answer questions yesterday. He plans to go to Pinewood Springs today and meet with residents there.
• Total number of rescued as of Thursday morning, September 19 is 1,183 people.
• The number of unaccounted people is now 139.
• There are three confirmed reports of missing/presumed dead with the addition of a 46-year-old Drake man whose home was washed away. The two prior reports were of a 60-year-old woman and an 80-year old woman from Cedar Cove who also had homes washed away.
• A reminder to citizens: IT IS ILLEGAL to circumvent roadblocks, barricades or police tape either by bypassing them, moving them or using alternate routes to get into the area. This applies to walking, biking or driving. Roads are not safe even if they appear to be. It is dangerous to be on closed roads and bridges. Violators will be ticketed.
• The Larimer County Humane Society is compiling a list of residents who have needs for animal rescue in evacuated areas. Anyone with questions can call 970-226-3647, option #7.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
Natural Disasters bring out the best and the worst in people and unfortunately con artists and criminals take advantage of those who have been devastated by these large events. Below is a short list of common scams reported by Military One Source that take place and residents should be aware of:
• Home Repair Frauds- Home repair and cleanup frauds are very common after natural disasters. Be extremely careful before hiring anyone to work on your home. Check references, never pay a contractor or other vendor in cash, always get a written estimate and ask for a second opinion. Also remember never to pay the full amount for work done before work has begun.
• Fake Charities – Con artists and criminals often pretend to solicit money to help victims of a natural disaster and will make up a name of a charity which sounds nearly identical to a legitimate charity. Check out any charity groups you are unfamiliar with, never make cash donations and always make checks payable to the organization and not the individual soliciting money for the charity.
• Fake FEMA Representatives – Sometimes a con artist will pretend to be a FEMA representative, collecting a “processing fee” for an emergency loan or other financial assistance. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a representative of an agency always call the agency directly to confirm that representative is legitimate. Do not use the phone number the solicitor gives you. The number for FEMA is 1-800-621-3362.
• Identity Theft – Losing important papers and documents in times of a natural disaster is common. These items contain important personal information like social security numbers, bank account numbers and credit card numbers which can be used by criminals to make purchases and/or open new accounts in your name. To avoid these problems makes sure to use a paper shredder to dispose of any papers or documents with personal information when you are cleaning up after a disaster. Get a copy of your credit report a few weeks after the disaster to make sure no one has illegally used your information. Contact your creditors immediately to report lost credit cards and contact your bank if you find you are missing checks or a bank card.
• See /www.larimersheriff.org for additional information and tips on what to do if you have fallen victim to a scammer.