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Historic Colorado Floods

September 17th, 2013

Photo credit: Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Joseph K. VonNida released via Flickr Creative Commons

For many days now, there have been historic and devastating floods in the state of Colorado, in and around the city of Boulder. The scope of this natural disaster is almost unimaginable. And it’s all because of a HUGE amount of rain in a short period of time!

One area near Denver received as much rain in one day … as it usually does almost all year , Weather.com  reported. That’s an all-time record for that area, according to NBC News.

The rain overwhelmed rivers and streams causing “flash floods” as the banks couldn’t absorb or contain the water. The force of the rushing waters uprooted homes and cars as it went by, snapped roads and bridges in half, and breached dams meant to contain the water. It also stranded entire towns now reachable only by helicopter. Eighty-five elementary school students  were also rescued by helicopter after floods trapped them during a field trip.

NBC News is reporting that over 14,000 people have been evacuated so far, and that at least 19,000 homes have been destroyed or are damaged. The area impacted by the flooding is almost the  size of the entire state of Connecticut! President Obama has declared Colorado’s flooding a  federal emergency

The National Guard has been called in to help because it’s too much for local officials to handle.  The helicopter rescue missions alone are considered to be the largest air search and rescue operation since Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans, Louisiana area, in 2005.

At least 8 people have died as a result of the flooding in Colorado so far, according to the  Colorado Office of Emergency Management . Approximately 650 more people are unaccounted for (that means it’s not clear where they are).

Thankfully, the rains have eased up for now. And as the sun makes its way out in Colorado, so do more stories about heartwarming reunions and rescues (one incredible one here ) … hopefully, with more to come.

If you would like to help, Help Colorado Now , is recommended by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy

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