Saturday November 28th, 2015 11:37AM

Oil spills latest fallout from Colo. flooding

By The Associated Press
DENVER (AP) -- Coloradans watched for more spills in flooded oilfields as crews waited for the waters to recede so they could begin cleanup operations.

Four new spills were discovered Friday, including 2,400 gallons of oil from a toppled storage tank and almost 900 gallons from an unspecified source. Oil spilled from two other damaged tanks but authorities did not know how much.

That brings the known volume of oil released since massive flooding began last week along Colorado's Front Range to an estimated 22,060 gallons or about 525 barrels.

Most of the oil releases reported to date came from tanks operated by Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Co. At least four of the releases reported by the company were in Weld County and spilled oil into the South Platte River or a tributary, according to information submitted to regulators.

Other companies might have suffered similar problems since flooding began last week, but they have not yet been able to assess their damage.

An aerial survey of the flood area on Thursday revealed up to two dozen overturned oil storage tanks, state regulators said. Releases from those tanks could not be immediately confirmed.

With many roads in the area washed out, the sites remained largely inaccessible, preventing cleanup work from getting underway, said Anadarko spokesman John Christiansen.

"We've got a couple of amphibious vehicles and flat-bottom boats that we're using, but really until things have a chance to dry out and some of the infrastructure issues are sorted out, it's going to be difficult," Christiansen said.

Authorities in Weld County have said their concern over spilled oil is eclipsed by much greater volumes of sewage and other contaminants washing into local waterways.

In other developments:

- The number of people unaccounted for dropped to around 80 thanks to door-to-door searches and restored communications. Seven people have died and three others are missing and presumed dead.

- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $8 million in aid for homeowners and the number of FEMA personnel on the ground increased from 250 to 800.

- Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said he was heartened to see residents in remote communities doing their own makeshift repairs to roads.

- The new official in charge of recovery efforts, IHS Inc. executive chairman Jerre Stead, said his priorities are rebuilding the affected area equal or better than it was before.

- Gov. John Hickenlooper approved another $20 million in emergency flood funding, bringing the total to $26 million, and expanded the disaster zone to include a total of 17 counties.

- Schools are making arrangements for students in flooded towns to head back to class. Students in Lyons will attend school in nearby Longmont starting next week while students in another mountain town may have a teacher sent to them.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
1:13AM ( 10 hours ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 1 week ago )
World leaders vow vigorous response to Paris terror spree, but little indication of next steps
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group's terror spree in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday, with President Barack Obama call...
2:14PM ( 1 week ago )