Colorado Floods: Fact check

7:02 AM, Sep 19, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - During major events, rumors and misinformation run rampant. Here are a few of the claims about the Colorado floods that have been swirling around the Internet:

CLAIM: WOMAN HOLDING TOWN HOSTAGE?

A viral Facebook post is claiming residents are trapped by floodwater because a woman will not unlock a gate on her property so people can escape.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office says that's not true - that no one is stranded on Storm Mountain - and that the woman has agreed to let anyone down through her property - she just doesn't want them going back up.

CLAIM: FEMA BANS DRONES?

Perhaps you've heard the one about FEMA banning the use of a drone to assist rescuers in Boulder County. That claim showed up on a conservative website. FEMA and Boulder County say it's bunk.

The county emergency manager says he's shocked the drone operator - Falcon UAV - is making that claim. He says local emergency managers grounded the drone out of concern that it could collide with helicopters being used to evacuate residents.

CLAIM: FRACKING DISASTER LOOMING?

A liberal website picked up a blogger's claim that the news media are covering up a looming environmental disaster in Northern Colorado from the spillage of fracking fluids.

The industry says every well has been shut, and fracking isn't a concern.

"None have been left open during the flood," Tisha Schuller, president and CEO of Colorado Oil & Gas Association said. "And we don't have any major issues going on. There were no major fracking sites affected by the flood."

"They're saying what I would expect them to say," Carl Erickson with Weld Air & Water said. "'Don't worry! Be happy!' They're full of it."

The industry promised if there's a spill, it will disclose to emergency workers which chemicals are involved. 9NEWS will keep an eye on this issue as the flood waters recede and damage to wells is revealed.

CLAIM: ROCKY FLATS CONTAMINATION?

There have been questions about whether contamination from Rocky Flats could be stirred up by the flooding.

The site manager says they lost two water monitoring gauges but they've been replaced, and nothing out of the ordinary has been seen there - except more wildlife than usual.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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