Biden tours Colorado flood damage by helicopter

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The trio were joined by Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate on the helicopter survey of some of the nearly 2,000 square miles that has been devastated by flooding. Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) also met with the vice president ahead of the flight.

Later in the day, the survey party gathered with the House members and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) to discuss the damage and other recovery plans.

Biden praised Hickenlooper for his response to the natural disaster, and said FEMA would move to cover temporary housing, home repairs not covered by insurance, and medical expenses.

Authorities said Monday they had discovered the body of a 79-year-old woman on a riverbank, bringing the confirmed death toll from the flooding to eight. Two other people remain missing and presumed dead, according to The Associated Press.

Biden said the shrinking number of missing persons meant "things are moving in the right direction."

According to official estimates, 1,882 homes have been destroyed by the flooding, with more than 16,000 others believed damaged. More than 200 commercial buildings have been destroyed, and 200 miles of road and 50 bridges have also sustained damage.

While in Mexico last week, Biden told officials there he empathized with flood damage that had occurred in their country.

"As a matter of fact, I'm leaving from here and I'm going to Colorado, an area the size of the state of Connecticut has been devastated in the state of Colorado," Biden said. "The estimates are well over $1.2 billion in damage thus far. There are hundreds of people still missing and many have died. So we understand."

Earlier this month, President Obama declared a state of emergency, allowing Colorado to access federal aid. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster, the White House said in a statement.


-This post was updated at 4:34 p.m.