Nightly News   |  August 10, 2013

Deadly floods hit several states

Heavy rains have hit several states across the middle of the country with more in the forecast -- and in Colorado, the flash flooding was deadly. NBC’s Leanne Gregg reports.

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>>> fast and caught a lot of americans off guard overnight in places where the ground was already saturated and inches fell within hours. there were rivers of muddy water filled with debris roaring past houses and down hoy highways. heavy rains sit several states across the middle of the country with more rain in the forecast and in colorado the flash flooding was deadly. that's where we begin tonight just west of colorado springs with nbc's leanne greg. leanne, residents say it hit without warning?

>> reporter: kate, and as you can see, the cleanup is now under way, but within the last 24 hours , a wall of water hit this town surging more than 12 feet above the creek bed, sending visitors and residents scrambling for higher ground . more than an inch of rain turned this road sbooi a raging river rushing 25 to 30 miles an hour.

>> oh, god.

>> reporter: torrential downpours hit the area west of colorado springs late friday. causing flash floods and triggers mudslides. sweeping away cars and homes in the tourist town of manitou springs .

>> i have concerning news to shart.

>> reporter: reports of one dead and three people still missing.

>> doing the best to get the city cleaned up so we can get back to business as usual .

>> reporter: an other than of a local restaurant said the storm hit during business hours .

>> it was very, very scary mip staff had to evacuate. the customers to the east side of the restaurant, and there were still plates of food on the tables and candles burning.

>> reporter: just was trapped in a building more than two hours.

>> just bawling my eyes out. when i came down the avenue, it was like a raging river , black river coming down.

>> reporter: colorado is one of six states in the midwest who suffered severe dprach flash floods this week. in central, missouri, up to nine inches of rain.

>> there it goes.

>> yep.

>> reporter: floodwaters swamped this crane and sent it crashing down.

>> oh, no, no, no, no!

>> reporter: in tennessee residents outside nashville were forced to seek refuge on rooftops while waiting for rescue workers . in arkansas more than six inches of rain. the result of a storm system that stalled over the plains. back in central colorado , a break in the rain, revealing the damage. homes covered in debris. roads no longer accessible. and tonight, flash flood warnings remain in place until later this evening.

>> it's going to drag you in. it will rip your clothes off. you just don't want to get caught in that. you don't want to be anywhere near that.

>> reporter: several roads remain closed tonight. cleanup crews are still pumping water from low-lying areas back into fountain creek . within the last hour volunteers have been asked to leave because of the threat of more flooding.