KUSA - Evacuation orders have been extended to include residents living along the river bottom up to the town of Iliff. This evacuation extends the previous boundaries from the county line north along Hwy 6 to Sugar Mill Road in Sterling with perimeters of I-76 and Hwy 6 on the east and west. In addition the towns of Merino and Atwood have also been issued mandatory evacuation notices.
The evacuation extension is being issued early as a precautionary measure and do ensure residents do not miss the call do evacuate during early morning hours.
Sterling city officials expected the South Platte River to crest on Sunday night. That was a big change from the earlier prediction of it hitting sometime Monday morning.
Due to the fact that the river gauges have been jostled around with the flood waters, the readings have been inconsistent. It appears now that water near Hillrose and Brush may be receding, which means the crest of the river is closer than anticipated.
It is unsure whether or not water is rising or receding in the town of Merino, but everything has stayed on the south side of the railroad tracks so far in that area. The water in Atwood is rising and water is running very hard on both sides of the bridge on Highway 63 between I-76 and Highway 6. This road is closed and is expected to sustain damage.
According to Bob Owens, Logan County Emergency Manager, water is currently flowing over several bridges and has resulted in road closures. Those include the bridge at Hwy. 6 and Washington County Road Q, the bridge in Messex at Morgan County Road 59, the Merino Bridge on Hwy. 6 , and the bridge on Logan County Road 25 south of Merino.
Also State Patrol Troopers are asking that motorists stay off of Highway 6 from Merino heading east into Sterling as the increased traffic is interfering with evacuation efforts.
The City of Sterling has set up a shelter at Sterling Middle School that is now open, however they are not accepting pets except for service animals. If the water does cross the tracks in any significant volume, this will impact the City of Sterling and further evacuation notices may be implemented.
Logan County Fairgrounds is open for large animals but it is not staffed and people need to care for own animals. Small animals may be bought to the north end of the grandstands if they are in cages. For questions regarding keeping your pets at the Fairgounds contact Lydia Kiser, (970) 520-9416.
So far damage in the area includes Logan County Road 25 south of Merino, which has been washed out, as well as Logan County Road 29.5 east of the river between Merino and Atwood.
In addition, one to two houses south of Highway 6 near Merino have possible damage.
Residents are asked to stay tuned to local media, the Logan County Office of Emergency Management's Facebook page, or npacinfo.blogspot.com regarding evacuations and updates.
Residents are urged to heed these evacuation orders and to help friends and neighbors with evacuations and assistance with housing pets. For more information call (970) 522-8600.
For residents that have been displaced the Red Cross has a website, safeandwell.communityos.org, where you can leave a message for family members. If you've had to leave your home you can log on to that website, leave a message, and your family members can check it.
For updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Logan-County-Office-of-Emergency-Management/165016993515652
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