Utah Task Force 1 heading to Colorado flooding

Utah Task Force 1 heading to Colorado flooding

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 - Utah) Devastating floods in Colorado have claimed four lives and dozens more are missing. Friday Utah Task Force 1 traveled to some of the hardest hit areas.

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Devastating floods in Colorado have claimed four lives and dozens more are missing. Utah Task Force 1 (UT-TF1) traveled Friday to some of the hardest hit areas.

The call to action officially came at 3:00am Friday morning from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy 75 Utahns and four canines.

FEMA asked the task force to stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming as more rain fell in northern Colorado. They were asked to stage in Cheyenne until an escort was able to bring them into the state safely, navigating around flooded and severely damaged roads.

“We're expecting a lot of mud, a lot of water, and partially collapsed structures,” said Captain Clint Mecham with the Unified Fire Department. “Watching the news, we weren't sure if we were going to be deployed or not.”

As they saw the situation in Colorado grow more severe, it was not a big surprise when 75 Utahns were pulled from their beds Friday morning.

With more than 20 years with the task force, Bill Brass knows they are in for an especially challenging trip.

“Some of the people I've talked to, their voices alone tell me it's bad,” said Brass. “They really have no idea. We're over 24 hours into when this started and they still don't have an idea of what's happening there.”

Disasters like this are exactly why UT-TF1 trains year round.

“Our team is designed around finding live people, in collapsed structures,” said Brass. ”So they will try to search through neighborhoods that have damaged homes, and see if people are trapped.”

The team is mostly made up of firefighters – from Unified Fire, Salt Lake City & Park City Fire Departments. Some firefighters were called to deploy as they were working.

With them, they have enough supplies to live for days without any help.

“This is exciting for our people, it's sad that it has to be a disaster when we go out, but that's our mission,” said Brass.

UT-TF1 says they never know for how long they will be deployed. With more rain expected in Colorado this weekend, the worst may be yet to come. 

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