Authorities try to evacuate people from isolated towns

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

LYONS, Colo. Thousands of people who were stranded by floodwaters have been able to make their way down from communities in the Colorado Rockies today.

Authorities have been working to evacuate 2,500 people from the isolated mountain community of Lyons -- either by National Guard convoys or airlifts.

One of the evacuees says she heard sirens going off in the middle of the night, and her husband said they needed to leave. They stepped out of their trailer and into rushing water that nearly reached their knees. Mary Hemme says she tried to drive away, but the river was rushing at her -- so she "threw it in reverse" as fast as she could.

National Guard troops, aided by a break in the weather, started airlifting nearly 300 residents from the small community of Jamestown. It's been cut off and without power or water for more than a day.

The relentless rush of water from higher ground turned towns into muddy swamps. And after a brief lull, the rain returned this afternoon.

The body of a woman who had been swept away by floodwaters was found today near Boulder, raising the death toll to four.

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