2 towns east of Greeley evacuated due to flooding

LYONS — By air and by land, the rescue of Coloradoans stranded by epic mountain flooding accelerated Saturday as debris-filled rivers became muddy seas that extended into towns and farms miles from the Rockies.

Helicopters and hundreds of National Guard troops searched miles of mountainous terrain for people as food and water supplies ran low in remote communities cut off since Thursday. Thousands were being driven from their homes in convoys.

For the first time since the harrowing floods began Wednesday, Colorado got its first broad view of the devastation. Floodwaters have affected parts of a 4,500-square-mile area, almost the size of Connecticut.

National Guard helicopters flew in and out of the mountain hamlet of Jamestown late into Friday night after the village became isolated by rushing water that scoured the canyon the town sits in. The choppers were evacuating nearly 300 people and their pets.

Rescuers were also concentrating on the town of Lyons, where the Guard had evacuated nearly 800 people by ground by Saturday morning.

More than a dozen helicopters were available to aid with rescue efforts.


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