The flood warning north of Denver is expected to remain in effect until late this evening as heavy rainfall adds to the 15 inches that have already fallen on the area. It could be three more days until the rain, which Coloradans describe as “relentless,” abates altogether.
At least three people have been killed in the flash floods, and thousands evacuated from their homes. In Boulder County, 20 have been reported missing by their families. Meanwhile, the National Guard deployed 100 troops and 21 military vehicles to evacuate 2,000 people from the town of Lyons, which has been completely cut off from surrounding areas. From The New York Times:
The flooding has cut off major highways in the state, isolated mountain towns and closed the main campus of the University of Colorado. On Thursday, homes, bridges and small dams built along the mountains that bisect the state collapsed, succumbing to rushing floodwaters and record levels of rainfall.
Mudslides swept down hillsides left treeless by recent wildfires. Firefighters made dozens of rescues as cars were overtaken by rain-swollen creeks and roads suddenly gave way.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the “wall of water” that descended from Boulder Creek, captured by onlookers in photos and videos, was a 1-in-100 year event: