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Cat-sitter dies after suburb of Denver basement floods

DENVER – A woman died after the rain of the last round of the strong Colorado storms flooded the suburb of Denver basement apartment she was staying in the care of a friend’s cat, police said Wednesday.

People who live on the top floor in the Englewood house called police Tuesday because they were worried about their neighbor in the basement unit, police spokesman Chad Read said. The neighbor was not at home, but the officials Rachael Marie Haber, 32, after searching in the murky water, reaching to the ceiling. No one else was in the unit.

Haber was not responding and taken to the hospital, where she died Wednesday morning.

The coroner said an autopsy showed injuries consistent with death by drowning, but further tests on how they died were still in treatment.

Read told The Denver Post, the water was around knee-high and when the officials came.

“There was water in the front yards, backyards, and a car actually drove part of the way and ended up in the front of the house,” he said.

The rain also caused a sinkhole to open in the vicinity of Sheridan, the swallowing of a vehicle, but the driver was able to get out in time. The muddy and mangled Toyota RAV4 was pulled out of the hole on Wednesday.

In southwestern Colorado, water and debris closed roads in the vicinity of an area burned by a large forest fire north of Durango. The floods stopped the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, leading to around 800 passengers to be bused back to Durango, The Durango Herald reported.

Another sinkhole opened earlier Tuesday, south of Colorado Springs after a flood washed out a pit following heavy rain on Monday.

A vehicle fell in the pit and when the Hanover Fire department responded to the cave in their fire engine also fell into the hole. Both vehicles were removed early Tuesday morning.

Two firefighters and the driver of the first vehicle were taken to the hospital.

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