NBC News:

Sunny skies greeted rescue crews Tuesday in flood-torn Colorado as work continued to reach stranded residents.

Almost half of the people who were declared unaccounted for or missing following the devastating floods have been found safe following an intensive search, officials said.

About 1,200 people hadn't been heard from early Monday, five days after the floods hit. But that number was reduced to 648 as rescue efforts were ratcheted up later in the day, according to figures released by the Colorado Office for Emergency Management late Monday.

Officials described Monday as a "productive day," reporting 215 air rescues, 11 ground rescues and 120 pet rescues. It said 567 people previously considered unaccounted for had been contacted.

The flooding has now affected 17 counties. It has killed eight people, damaged or destroyed 18,000 buildings, and forced 11,750 people to evacuate their homes, acccording to the OEM.

Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also traveled to Colorado on President Barack Obama’s direction to meet with federal and state officials.

For more, visit: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/17/20536628-more-than-500-rescued-or-found-safe-in-wake-of-deadly-colorado-floods?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1

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