Three dead, thousands flee as floods rage in Colorado

September 13, 2013 05:33

Rare torrential downpours unleashed flash flooding in Colorado that killed at least three people, left one missing and forced thousands to flee to higher ground on Thursday as rising water toppled buildings and stranded motorists, officials said.

The unusually heavy late-summer rains drenched Colorado's biggest urban centers, stretching 130 miles (210 km) along the eastern slopes of the Rockies from Fort Collins near the Wyoming border south through Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.

"There is water everywhere," said Andrew Barth, emergency management spokesman in Boulder County, which bore the brunt of tropical-like rains one meteorologist called unprecedented. "We've had several structural collapses. There's mud and muck and debris everywhere. Cars are stranded all over the place."

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