More flood warnings issued in Colorado; officials say they will ask for disaster declaration

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DENVER — More flood warnings were issued on Saturday as rain and hail pelted parts of Colorado.

A tornado watch was issued for 16 counties, including Denver and Denver International Airport, but there were no reports of tornadoes or damage.

A flash flood warning was issued Saturday for Otero County in southeast Colorado. Flood warnings continued for the Cache La Poudre River near Greeley, the South Platte River and the Arkansas River near Avondale, affecting Pueblo and Otero counties.

Officials in El Paso and Pueblo counties said they will ask Gov. John Hickenlooper for a disaster declaration after rain and flooding pounded the region over the past three weeks. The National Weather Service is telling Coloradans to expect more rain off and on across the state through Tuesday.

The disaster declaration includes a request for help from the government to repair damage to public structures caused by heavy rain and flooding that started May 3. The counties are asking residents to send damage reports to be included in a possible disaster declaration.

Hickenlooper can ask the federal government for a disaster declaration and open the door to federal money to help the region recover.

In southeastern Colorado, 12 trails in Colorado Springs and El Paso County won't be accessible to outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country over the Memorial Day weekend because of flooding. "Today's been the first day I've had a chance to really get outside. It's been raining since I got here Tuesday. I guess that's just my luck," said Kevin Brodeur of Connecticut.

In Boulder County, rescuers found a body on Flagstaff Mountain on Friday evening, but they called off their recovery effort for the night because of steep, slippery terrain, rain and thick fog. Foul play is not suspected, and the victim has not been identified, authorities said. Authorities tried again on Saturday, and they said the rescue was hampered by the weather.

The National Weather Service forecasts snow for western Colorado. Boulder Reservoir will remain closed this weekend because of cold water temperatures.

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