At least four people have been killed in record floods that ravaged
Colorado and prompted the governor to call in the National Guard to
evacuate hundreds of people feared stranded in a town outside Boulder.
the third day of the crisis, Gov. John Hickenlooper said it had to be
"the largest storm that I can imagine in the state's history."
evacuation, for the town of Lyons, outside Boulder, will require about
100 soldiers from the Colorado National Guard and more than 20 trucks, a
U.S. military official told NBC News.
Unusual late-summer downpours raked the state again, shattering a
73-year record for September rain in Boulder. About 4,000 people were
ordered evacuated there Thursday as water surged out of a nearby canyon.
"There's so much water coming out of the canyon, it has to go
somewhere, and unfortunately it's coming into the city," Ashlee Herring,
a spokeswoman for the Boulder emergency management office, told
The nearby city of Longmont was inundated after a river jumped its banks. About 7,000 homes there were under orders to evacuate.
said that the state Department of Transportation had ordered traffic
restricted to essential only for four counties to the north and west of
Denver. Emergency vehicles were having a tough time getting around, he
A fourth body was found in Boulder on Friday, and others
were still missing, though authorities said some people may just be out
of contact due to loss of phone service.
Holly Stetson was waiting
for word on her father, an 81-year-old retired elementary school
teacher who Stetson said was probably trapped in his house in Lyons.
Stetson told KUSA, the NBC affiliate in Denver, that her mother
evacuated early Thursday morning, but said the father probably stayed
behind. Stetson said she "had a visual" of the house that showed 2 feet
of water on the outside.
"Just hoping for a great outcome," she
said. "I feel like he's got lots of common sense. He was a Boy Scout
scout leader for many, many years. He knows what to do if we got stuck
in the house. We're just putting our faith in that."
some good news: What authorities described as a 30-foot surge of water,
mud, rocks and debris dissipated before reaching the outskirts of
The surge flattened out as the canyon became less steep
toward the city and by the time it arrived at Boulder Creek it was not
nearly as severe as initially feared, officials said.
State University, in Fort Collins, said it would close for the day, not
because of flooding on campus but because the surrounding roads were
difficult if not impossible to navigate.