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Deadly floods in Colorado

Days of heavy rainfall flooded Colorado mountain towns, obliterating roads and leaving many people stranded.

Donna Wells, right, comforts Karen Little, left, as she cries over the extent of flood damage to her home in LaSalle, Colo., on Sept. 20. Both their homes were extensively damaged by floodwaters and they have lost virtually all of their belongings.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

Bob Paetzel cleans water and mud out of Canyon Collectibles in Loveland, Colo., on Sept. 18. The store was flooded after the Big Thompson River went over its banks. As floodwaters recede, cleanup and damage assessment continues after historic flooding.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

Mobile homes lie flooded in the of town of Evans, Weld County, Colorado on Sept. 17. The mobile home park was left in shambles and partially submerged in water where trailers were swept off their foundations by runoff from a solid week of rains that started Sept. 9.

Rick Wilking / X00301

Siblings, left to right, Elizabeth, 13, Jonathan, 9, Aaron, 11, and Kitty, 6, Dipert wash mud from the clothing of family friends from church, in the wake of massive flooding which days earlier swept through Longmont, Colo., on Sept. 18. As water recedes and flows east onto the Colorado plains, rescuers are shifting their focus from emergency airlifts to trying to find the hundreds of people still unaccounted for after last week's devastating flooding.

Brennan Linsley / AP

An abandoned car lies off a road destroyed by flood waters along the South Platte River east of Greeley, Colo, on Sept. 17. Northern Colorado's broad agricultural expanses are especially affected, with more than 400 lane-miles of state highway and more than 30 bridges destroyed or impassable.

John Wark / John Wark

Kathryn Reeves, 32, tows an inflatable boat full of family possessions from her god-parents' flooded trailer in Evans, Colo., on Sept. 17. Evacuees are returning to their ravaged communities and some are finding that their belongings have been destroyed.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

A flight medic with the Colorado Air National Guard carries an unidentified evacuee up a hoist onto a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during flood rescue and recovery operations near Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 16. Military helicopter crews have flown hundreds of missions up the treacherous canyons of the Rocky Mountains to rescue about 2,000 people, and counting, and drop food and water supplies to stranded hamlets.

Sgt. Jonathan Thibault / U.S. Army

Chris and Shanda Roberson carry a flood-soaked antique trunk from their garage in Longmont, Colo., on Sept. 16, 2013, as their son Rowen looks on.

Rick Wilking / X00301

Homeowner Chris Ringdahl, left, is comforted by family friend Katherine MacIntosh, in front of her possessions as they cleanup from the floodwaters in Longmont, Colo., on Sept. 16. Floodwaters have affected a 4,500 square-mile section of the state inundating entire neighborhoods and destroying bridges and roads.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

Rival members of local Longmont, Colo., high school football teams band together to help remove the floor of a shed displaced by flood waters as residents clean up on Sept. 16 in Longmont, Colorado. After a week of heavy flooding, more than 600 people are unaccounted for and thousands were forced to evacuate after historic flooding devastated communities in Colorado.

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images North America

Flood victims are helped off military helicopters at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 16, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state.

Ed Andrieski / AP

Robert Pandolfi of Longmont, Colo., uses a shovel to direct water in the basement of his boss' home as residents clean up in the wake of a week of heavy flooding on Sept. 16 in Longmont, Colo.

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images North America

Mary Ellen Briscoe, 81, of Longmont, Colo., pauses in her garage as she looks over waterlogged historic family photos on Sept. 16 in Longmont, Colo.

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images North America

Water flows through an evacuated neighborhood after days of flooding in Hygiene, Colo., on Sept. 15. After somewhat abating for two days, rain returned to Colorado Sunday, creating a risk of more flooding and mudslides.

Brennan Linsley / AP

Wendy Hoffenberg, left, helps Sophia Cornell up the sidewalk as rain becomes heavier in Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 15.

Mark Leffingwell / X01810

A muddy U.S. flag stands in front of flooded homes in Longmont, Colo., on Sept. 14, 2013. Floodwaters have inundated a 4,500 square-mile section of the state. National Guard helicopters were evacuating residents from the hardest hit communities.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

A resident rides down Main Street in Jamestown, Colo., with his dog, on Sept. 14, after a flash flood destroyed much of the town.

Rick Wilking / X00301

Don DeGraff and his niece Julie DeGraff, both of La Salle, Colo., retrieve valuable items out of their home on Sept. 14, in La Salle, Colo.

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images North America

Kristin McDonald, right, dries out family photos while her husband Stanley McDonald, left, wipes his brow after their basement flooded in Longmont, Colo., on Sept. 14.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

A destroyed home, with one of its walls still clinging to the main structure, is seen in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 14.

Rick Wilking / X00301

Eric Machmuller, front left, Brian Winn, rear left, Mitch Machmuller, rear right, and Pat Machmuller, front right, steer a boat down a residential street to help residents gather pets and belongings from their flooded homes in Longmont, Colo., on Sept. 14.

Chris Schneider / FR170036 AP

Children from Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown, Colorado board a rescue helicopter flown by the U.S. Air National Guard after severe flooding shut down major roads leading out of town, on Sept. 14.

Handout / X80001

An aerial view of vehicles submerged in flood waters along the South Platte River near Greeley, Colo., Sept. 14.

John Wark / X03042

Dave Jackson closes a mailbox with his foot after delivering the mail to a home surrounded on three sides by a flooded Cheyenne Creek in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sept. 13.

Michael Ciaglo / Colorado Springs Gazette

Floodwaters flow past a damaged section of Highway 34 near Estes Park , Colo., on Sept. 13.

Dennis Pierce / Colorado Heli-Ops

Holly Rob, right, and her neighbor Pam Bowers hug after a day salvaging Rob's belongings from her flood-damaged home in Lyons, Colo., on Sept. 13. More heavy rain was expected in flooded mountain towns in Colorado, where authorities raised the confirmed death toll to four and feared for many others stuck without food, water or power.

Brennan Linsley / AP

Floodwaters flow past a destroyed bridge in Lyons, Colo., on Sept. 13.

John Wark / AP

Local resident Ben Rodman helps a friend salvage items from her home after flooding in Lyons, Colo., on Sept. 13.

Brennan Linsley / AP

Fred Rob sits in the doorway of his home destroyed by floods in Lyons, Colo.,on Sept. 13.

Brennan Linsley / AP

Will Pitner is rescued by emergency workers after a night spent sheltering outside on high ground above his home as it filled with water at the base of Boulder Canyon, Colo., Friday, Sept. 13. People in Boulder were ordered to evacuate as water rose to dangerous levels and rescuers struggled to reach dozens of people cut off by flooding in mountain communities.

Brennan Linsley / AP

Colorado Army National Guardsmen and civilian rescue personnel unload evacuated residents from Colorado flood zones from a helicopter at the Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 12.

Sgt. Joseph K. Vonnida / Us Army / US ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

Casey Roy, 9, looks through an outside window at the damage in her families basement in north Boulder where flood water was about three-feet high in the basement, on Sept.12.

More photos from The Denver Post.

Rj Sangosti / THE DENVER POST

A geyser of water shoots out of a sewer on Canon Avenue as storms continued to dump rain over the Waldo Canyon burn scar in Manitou Springs, Colo., on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013.

Michael Ciaglo / Colorado Springs Gazette

A rescue worker goes door to door checking on residents in north Boulder, Colo., Thurday, Sept.12.

More photos from The Denver Post.

Rj Sangosti / THE DENVER POST

Emergency personnel work to rescue a man trapped in his vehicle in Lafayette, Colo.,Sept. 12.

X80001

Three vehicles fell into a creek after the road washed out from beneath them near in Broomfield Colo., Sept. 12, during heavy flooding.

More photos from The Denver Post.

Andy Cross / THE DENVER POST

Britt Drake, of Boulder, stands in her flooded basement on Sept. 12, in Boulder, Colo.

Jeremy Papasso

Flood waters course through a small park in Boulder, Colo., Thursday morning, Sept. 12.

Jud Valeski / @jvaleski

A home and car are stranded after a flash flood destroyed a bridge near Golden, Colo., Sept. 12.

Rick Wilking / X00301

A woman looks at Boulder Creek, which flooded after three days of heavy rainfall, on Sept. 12

Dana Romanoff / Getty Images North America

Rich Luna tries to make a mud barrier in front of his house as heavy rains cause flooding in Boulder, Colo., Sept.12.

Mark Leffingwell / X01810

Nicky Toor, 15, floats on the lawn of North Boulder Park Sept. 12, in Boulder, Colo.

Dana Romanoff / Getty Images North America