09/20/2013 01:39 pm ET Updated Sep 30, 2013

Colorado Flooding Death Toll Rises

The number of people who are unaccounted for in the Colorado flooding has dropped, but death toll estimates have now risen to 8.

That latest number includes two new fatalities that were announced Thursday and at least three presumed deaths. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is reporting 143 people missing from Boulder and Larimer Counties and three more counties that are eligible for individual disaster assistance from FEMA.

On Thursday, the Boulder County Coroner's Office announced that a body found in a St. Vrain drainage area was identified as 80-year-old Gerald Boland, a longtime Lyons basketball coach and math teacher. Boland was the fourth flooding death reported in Boulder County.

"Obviously we're never happy when we find another fatality, but considering everything that's happened it's been a relief that it's not hundreds," Gabrielle Boerkircher, spokeswoman for the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management, told Reuters.

Boland had reportedly already reached an evacuation center safely, but went back to look for his wife who was evacuating separately. She was rescued from her car, which had been caught in the floodwaters, but Boland never made it.

Nineteen-year-old couple Wesley Quinlan and Wiyanna Nelson were remembered by their friends and family on the "Today" show earlier this week. Quinlan had tried to save Nelson when she was suddenly swept downstream by the fast-moving floods as the couple and their friends were trying to head for safety. The two friends who were with Quinlan and Wiyanna survived.

The body of Joseph Howlett, 72, was also discovered this week in his Jamestown home that had caved in with 12 feet of rocks and mud. Authorities say he died when the flooding first began but were not able to immediately reach his body.

Three people in Larimer County are presumed dead: a 46-year-old man whose home was washed away in Drake, who is not being identified, and Patty Goodwine, 61, and Evelyn Starner, 79, who went missing in the Cedar Cove area of Big Thompson Canyon.

In El Paso County, the body of Danny Davis, 54, was found on Sept. 12 in Fountain Creek and on Monday the body of James Bettner, 47, was found in Sand Creek.

The body of Carroll White, 83, was also discovered Monday in Clear Creek. He had reportedly been standing on the bank when it gave way and was swept into the river.

A previous version of this article stated that the death toll had risen to 10. The revised number is eight.



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