Nightly News | September 16, 2013
>>> as you saw very briefly there we found the view from the air is the only real way to explain the dimension of this natural disaster that's being felt over more than a hundred miles in and around boulder. we get the perspective from above tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer.
>> reporter: wow, look at this. rockslides, mudslides, so many disasters, so much devastation. we have seen so many properties impacted. there are simply too many damaged homes to count.
>> reporter: this is the big thompson river that weaves through a residential neighborhood. it wiped out this section of town. the state says at least 30 highway bridges are completely destroyed. more than a dozen dams have been compromised. this one is completely breached. down the road here, these homes are now in jeopardy.
>> wow. wow.
>> reporter: so many of these smaller communities are completely surrounded by water. in way in or out by foot or by car. there is a chinook helicopter , one of about 15 that have been doing air operations. they are bearing out thousands of people that are surrounded by water. we have come along groups of people like this throughout our time up in the air. the national guard has made it clear they want everyone out of this area, but some just refuse to leave. when you see where the cars are scattered and where the homes are submerged, you can tell here that those that were in the path of the water had little or no time to escape. the more we fly, the more land we cover, the more heartbreak we see.
>> reporter: above the flood zone, miguel almaguer, nbc news, boulder, colorado.