Three Dead, Thousands Evacuated in Colorado Flooding
Rare torrential downpours unleashed flash flooding in Colorado that killed at least three people, left one missing and forced thousands to flee to higher ground on Thursday as rising water toppled buildings and stranded motorists, officials said.
The unusually heavy late-summer rains drenched Colorado’s biggest urban centers, stretching 130 miles along the eastern slopes of the Rockies from Fort Collins near the Wyoming border south through Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.
“There is water everywhere,” said Andrew Barth, emergency management spokesman in Boulder County, which bore the brunt of tropical-like rains one meteorologist called unprecedented. “We’ve had several structural collapses. There’s mud and muck and debris everywhere. Cars are stranded all over the place.”
The city of Boulder and a string of other towns nestled along the so-called Front Range of the Rockies north of Denver were especially hard hit as floodwaters streamed down rain-soaked mountainsides and spilled through canyons that funneled the runoff into populated areas below.