Nightly News   |  September 13, 2013

Colorado flood washes away generations of mementos

Watch as one Colorado flooding victim returns to her home for the first time. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: joe prior in commerce city where rising flood waters forced an entire neighborhood to quickly flee yesterday, leaving a modest pile of sandbags to protect bonnie's home.

>> we had to carry the kids out on our back. we took maybe a set of clothes, panties and socks. we were just saturated.

>> trying to get dried out.

>> reporter: when she returned today her worst fears were realized.

>> that much.

>> reporter: that much water? the flood drenched many things including precious family photos.

>> my kids, grandkids, yeah. no flood insurance . wasn't even in a flood zone.

>> reporter: across town a dam breach prompted more evacuations. after the dam broke, this berm took over. this is what's keeping a massive amount of water -- 20 feet deep -- from rushing into the town down below. still, as a precautious, one neighborhood remains off limits. a similar scene in many community where is the weber home returned home to salvage items.

>> what's weird is being told you can't go into your house.

>> reporter: businesses are under water including david hayes auto body shop which employs ten people.

>> my blood and guts are in here. i'm worried.

>> reporter: usually homecomings are a reason tole celebrate.

>> i don't know.

>> reporter: tonight across colorado , too many homecomings are filled with a flood of heartache. joe friar, nbc news, commerce city , colorado .

>> a big problem for those folks tonight. it's not like the source of the water is just going to turn off. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is among our team members in boulder tonight. mike, i saw you first thing this morning. the water behind you was much closer to the roadway on that overpass. that has to be at least a small victory.

>> yeah, it has tom down, brian. boulder creek in the middle runs at one to two feet. much more like a trickle. it crested at eight feet. it's come down today, but it's roaring through town. this is what happens in a city that averages about 20 the inches of rain in a year. picks up 75% of that in just a few days. now, there are more showers and thunderstorms in the forecast over the weekend across new mexico, hard hit today, and colorado . some of the rainfall totals could be another two to three inches. rain chance is pegged at about 50%. there could be localized flash flooding . early next week the atmosphere will dry out, the pattern will dry out. a state that's gone through horrible fires in recent years it snuffs out the fire danger and puts a big dent in a horrible drought. brian?

>> mike seidel in boulder, colorado , tonight. thanks.