Boulder, Colorado Floods Evacuate Hundreds, Kill 3; Worse Expected This Weekend
Colorado has seen devastating flash-flooding this past 24 hours, and it's about to get worse.
The state's mountainous center has been struck by devastating "walls of water" in Thursday's flash-floods, with some up to a half-foot in height. At least three people have died, with hundreds more forced to evacuate under mandatory orders. As of Thursday, the state was bracing itself for more flurries over the weekend — ten inches have fallen so far, and another ten is expected by Sunday.
Communities across a 13-mile stretch have been isolated from rescue services because of the degree of flooding — in the case of one set of firefighters, their truck was washed away by the water. The worst of the damage has struck Boulder County, where the National Weather Service has reported that a 20-foot "wall of water" swept down a canyon. Authorities are using Facebook to ask trapped residents to remain inside, and to try to conserve as many supplies as possible for the next three days.
"We are currently not able to get water or food into the town," officials said via the social network to residents of Lyon, a small town sitting precariously at the bottom of the Rocky Mountains.
The rain has turned Boulder Creek, a placid creek that runs through the heart of Boulder, into a raging stream of water. Several people are missing, and at least one firefighting team is feared for after becoming stuck. Cars have been overturned, water has pushed dams to their limits, and the floods have washed out roads. Witnesses say that the rain is so thick that it has felt "like hail."
The University of Colorado-Boulder has been shut down, along with schools in the region. The university, which sits beside Boulder Creek, has seen damage, most of it minor, to roughly 40 of its buildings.
The previous record held for September rainfall in the region had been 4.8 inches — which was eclipsed by Colorado's rainfall by noon Thursday.
A bit of good news: a man was dramatically rescued Thursday when his car overturned as a result of the flooding: