Published on Sep 15, 2013
The CELESTIAL Convergence | http://thecelestialconvergence.blogsp…
September 13, 2013 – UNITED STATES – By air and by land, the rescue of hundreds of Coloradoans stranded by epic mountain flooding was accelerating as food and water supplies ran low.
Meanwhile, thousands more were driven from their homes on the plains as debris-filled rivers became muddy seas inundating towns and farms miles from the Rockies.
For the first time since the harrowing mountain floods began Wednesday, Colorado got its first broad view of the devastation – and the reality of what is becoming a long-term disaster is setting in. The flooding has affected parts of a 4,500-square-mile area, almost the size of Connecticut.
National Guard choppers were evacuating 295 people – plus pets – from the mountain hamlet of Jamestown, which was isolated by flooding that scoured the canyon the town sits in.
Mike Smith, incident commander at Boulder Municipal Airport, said helicopters would continue flying in and out late into the night.
The outlook for anyone who’d rather stay is weeks without power, cell phone service, water or sewer.
For those awaiting an airlift, Guardsmen dropped food, water and other supplies in Jamestown and other small towns in the winding, narrow canyons that dot the Rocky Mountain foothills.
Thousands of evacuees sought shelter in cities that were nearly surrounded by raging rivers spilling over their banks.
The dayslong rush of water from higher ground has killed four people and turned towns on Colorado’s expansive eastern plains into muddy swamps.
Crews used inflatable boats to rescue families and pets from stranded farmhouses. Some evacuees on horseback had to be escorted to safe ground.
Boulder County officials said Friday night that the number of people unaccounted for had risen to 172, according to local television and newspaper reports.
The officials said earlier that the unaccounted for figure doesn’t necessarily represent missing people.
Near Greeley, some 35 miles east of the foothills, broad swaths of farmland had become lakes, and hundreds of roads were closed or damaged by floodwaters. A 70-mile stretch of Interstate 25 was closed from Denver to the Wyoming line.
Rocky Mountain National Park closed Friday, its visitors forced to leave via the 60-mile Trail Ridge Road to the west side of the Rockies.
It will be weeks, if not months, before a semblance of normalcy returns to Lyons, a gateway community to the park. The town, surrounded by sandstone cliffs whose color was reflected in the raging St. Vrain River, consisted of six islands Friday as residents barbecued their food before it spoiled. Several people set up a tent camp on a hill.
Some 2,500 residents were being evacuated from Lyons. Two bridges that led into the area were washed away. ‘There’s so much water coming out of the canyon, it has to go somewhere, and unfortunately it’s coming into the city,’ said Ashlee Herring, spokeswoman for the Boulder office of Emergency Management.
Boulder Creek, which runs through the heart of the city, became a raging torrent that burst its banks and flooded adjacent parking lots and streets as warning sirens wailed.
Officials in Boulder announced just before midnight Thursday that they were tracking a large ‘wall of water, containing debris and vehicles’ headed towards Emerson Gulch from the Fourmile burn area.
The Denver Post reported that the 30-foot wall of water was caused by a drainage gulch that burst and released a large amount of water which swept up debris and vehicles in it’s path.