DENVER — More highways in northern Colorado that were cut off because of destructive flooding last week are being reopened, helping reduce the number of people in need of emergency shelters and, transportation officials hope, reducing traffic congestion in heavily populated areas.
"I think for a lot of people it's not returning to normal, per se, but it's starting to get there with some of these roads being reopened," said Amy Ford, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The American Red Cross said fewer people are using their shelters now. At the height of the disaster, more than 1,000 people were in shelters, compared with 250 on Saturday, said Carmela Burke, a Red Cross volunteer.
Still, the Red Cross planned to deliver 17 truckloads of supplies to flood victims this weekend, she said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is continuing to increase aid to those in flood-ravaged areas. It has distributed $12.3 million in aid, with most going to helping people find temporary rentals or making house repairs, said FEMA spokesman Jerry DeFelice.
On Friday, officials reopened Colorado 119 between County Line and Interstate 25 in Longmont; Colorado 72 to Colorado 7 in Estes Park is also open. Officials are trying to reopen a stretch of U.S. 34 in Loveland, Ford said.
Seven people have died, and three others are missing and presumed dead.