LYONS, Colo. —
Boulder County has assigned 10 police detectives to search for the missing. Officials are struggling to gauge how many people might actually be in danger as they field hundreds of calls from relatives, friends, estranged siblings and also near-strangers.
Rescuers and shelter workers are taking down lists of evacuees to feed to county officials, and people are asked to call in when they locate their relatives. Federal officials Monday repeatedly implored people affected by the flooding to call and reassure their loved ones.
In the funky mountain town of Lyons, stranded residents were unsure how to communicate their status. Telephone landlines were knocked out as floodwater rushed in Wednesday, and most people's cellphones died long ago.
One man drove with his young son past the shuttered shops on a muddy and abandoned Main Street searching for guidance.
"Do you need something?" shouted Glenn Scott, who was walking his two golden retrievers. It's become the town's new greeting.
The man said he was looking for Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters to let officials know the pair was OK so they wouldn't be listed among the missing.
But the only official seen around town that day was a local emergency worker telling residents it was their last chance to evacuate.
Guntle is hoping his sister and her two children — his only family now that his parents have passed away — are among the holdouts who have chosen boiled water, pantry items and isolation over homelessness.
He called the makeshift shelter for displaced Lyons residents on Friday and was told his sister hadn't come in. He called 10 more times that day, but couldn't get through again.
"I wish they had a list of people who are OK," he said.
A Red Cross website where evacuees can register to let people know they're safe had more than 960 people registered by Monday.