Deadly Colorado flooding leaves at least 3 dead, 1 missing (VIDEO)
Heavy rains falling on Colorado all week caused severe flooding and damage on Thursday, cutting off dozens of people in remote towns and leaving at least three dead and one missing.
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Authorities called on thousands of people in the city of Boulder to evacuate yesterday night as the rain continued to fall and nearby creeks rose to dangerous levels, causing water to back up at the mouth of canyons and debris and mud to fall off mountainsides. An additional 500 people were urged to leave their homes early Friday after facing a flash flood and mudslide threat.
Meanwhile, several towns along the Rocky Mountain foothills have been left isolated without power or telephone, with no way to get out. The University of Colorado, the state's largest school, was forced to close after a quarter of its buildings were flooded.
Sadly, there have been at least three fatalities so far. One person was killed in the city of Jamestown when a structure collapsed. Two other men died after drowning in flood waters. The woman who was with one of the men is missing after she was reportedly swept away when the vehicle she was riding in got stuck in water.
According to the AP, monsoon rains are common in Colorado in late summer and normally don't last long, but serve to provide moisture to the usually sunny state. But on Thursday, up to 8 inches in addition to an extremely rainy week caused flooding beyond control. Thankfully, federal disaster relief efforts are being coordinated as President Obama signed an emergency declaration Thursday night.
Some of the images captured of the rain and its aftermath left me stunned. My heart goes out to all the families and people affected. Living in one of the communities worst affected by Hurricane Sandy, I know firsthand how hard it is to see your house and hometown devastated and I can only imagine the loss and grief these people must be feeling now, especially those who lost loved ones in this scary disaster. I just pray that there have been no more fatalities and that all of the residents will be able to get the help they need as fast as possible.