[QODLink]
Americas

Thousands evacuated amid Colorado flooding

About 2,000 residents rescued as raging waters kill four people across US state hit by worst flood in decades.

Last Modified: 14 Sep 2013 10:32
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

At least four people have been killed and thousands are being evacuated in Colorado, as flood waters raged through parts of the US state.

The National Guard used military vehicles on Friday to rescue up to 2,000 residents.

Taking advantage of a break in record rains that have caused Colorado's worst flooding in over three decades, Guard members went door to door in the remote town of Lyons to ferry residents to safety.

Residents brought "their suitcases and their precious household items along with their pets and everything, all getting loaded in the back of these vehicles", said Colorado National Guard spokesman First Lieutenant Skye Robinson.

The flooding, which toppled buildings and forced thousands from their homes, was triggered by unusually intense late-summer storms that drenched Colorado's biggest urban centres, from Fort Collins near the Wyoming border through Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs to the south.

Boulder and a string of towns along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains north of Denver were especially hard hit as water poured down rain-soaked mountains and spilled through canyons that funneled the runoff into populated areas below.

Lyons, north of Boulder, was virtually cut off when floodwaters washed out US Route 36, and residents have been without water and power for 48 hours, said Mike Banuelos, a spokesman for the Boulder County Emergency Operations Center.

"It's a pretty dangerous situation," he said. The fourth fatality, a woman, was part of a couple swept away in floodwaters after stopping their car northwest of Boulder. The man's body was recovered but the woman was missing and had been feared dead.

Also killed were a person whose body was found in a collapsed building near Jamestown, an evacuated enclave north of Boulder and a man whose body was discovered during flood watch patrols in Colorado Springs, about 160km to the south, officials said.

The flooding was the worst in the state since nearly 150 people were killed near Boulder in 1976 by a flash flood along the Big Thompson Canyon.

President Barack Obama approved a federal disaster assistance request, which will release funds to help with emergency protection.

353

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.