TODAY   |  September 16, 2013

Colo. gov.:  Flood evacuations our ‘primary focus’

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that safe evacuation from flood zones will continue Monday as the discovery of more fatalities is expected.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> colorado governor is with us now from denver. governor, good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt.

>> i think the good news is i'm standing here, the rain seems to have stopped here in boulder, at least gone down to a drizzle. what are you hoping to accomplish this morning, governor?

>> well, our primary focus is making sure we get everyone who is in harm's way out of there. focus on if someone is at risk, how do we get them out of there. we'll have 16 or 17 helicopters out. we'll comb the entire landscape to make sure we get everybody out.

>> and that number that's so shocking, more than 1200 people unaccounted for. let's talk about that number. you're very hopeful that once you can get helicopters into those remote areas that are cutoff and talk to people and ask them their names, you'll be able to check a lot of those people off the list.

>> you have to remember, a lot of these folks lost their cell phones, their landlines, their internet connections, four or five days ago. we had no way to get ahold of them. i'm very hopeful that the vast majority of those people are safe and sound. but we don't have any illusions. there will almost certainly be more fatalities.

>> you have been dealing with weather officials a lot over the next several days. even if it stops raining in the next day or so, when do you expect the waters to recede and some of the creeks and rivers to go back in their banks?

>> we have a good weather forecast . we'll get scattered showers but nothing like we've seen. it's like a python that swallows a meal. it's going to take a few days to work through the system but it will start receding here or at least not getting worse in the next 12 hours and then start receding over the next couple of days.

>> well, governor, our thoughts and prayers with you and the people of colorado. our condolences on the loss of life here. i thank you for joining me this morning.

>> you bet. it's been a tough thing. but you know, every time these roads, you fly over and you see them broken it's amazing how it brings people together at the same time.

>> all right. the governor of colorado , governor, thank you very