Sunset frames a water tank near LaSalle, Colo., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Weld County has been the epicenter of a movement to form a 51st state from ten northeastern Colorado counties.
Credit Joe Mahoney / I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS
Colorado could stand to benefit financially and would see some improvement in the educational and economic standings of its remaining citizens if 10 northeastern counties should make good on their threat to secede and carve out a new state of North Colorado.
Flooded oil and gas operations in northeastern Colorado.
Credit Bob Winkler / Weld Air and Water
Colorado state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush says she plans to take up the issue of water contamination and greater setbacks for oil and gas wells from waterways in the wake of September's devastating flooding.
Bloomberg Businessweek spoke with Weld Commissioner Sean Conway and 51st State Initiative President Tom Gilley in a look at where the new state movement stands after the historic flood and the costly rebuilding efforts.
Colorado's worst flooding in half a century killed eight people, destroyed thousands of homes and wiped out hundreds of miles of roads, yet it hasn't damped enthusiasm in 11 counties to secede from the state.
Farmer James Werning, 30, is surveying the damage to his family's farm outside LaSalle, Colo. Corn fields were inundated with water and some farm equipment was damaged by the hip-high water.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
The flood damage in Colorado is immense, reaching beyond homes and small businesses. The raging rivers also spilled into low-lying farm and ranchland, wrecking costly equipment and stranding livestock.