Rescue crews in Colorado, mounting what was called the largest civilian helicopter mission since Hurricane Katrina, waited for clear weather Monday in hopes of reaching hundreds of people trapped by catastrophic floods.
Two of the confirmed victims of the massive flooding in Colorado were 19-year old couple Wesley Quinlan and Wiyanna Nelson. After their car was stopped by massive flooding, Wiyanna was swept away by the waters. In an incredible act of faith, Wesley jumped in to the turbulent waters after her. NBC's Joe Fryer reports.
Authorities were preparing to dispatch helicopters to rescue an unknown number of people stranded in Jamestown, a northwest Boulder County town of fewer than 300 residents that was left virtually unreachable after floodwaters swallowed huge swaths of the primary access road, said Nick Grossman, a spokesman for the county’s office of emergency management.
Jamestown is “essentially an island right now,” Grossman said, adding that some 45 people have already been evacuated from the flood-ravaged town.
Officials instructed isolated people in other hard-hit mountain towns to set flares, wave light-colored sheets from the roofs of houses and use mirrors to reflect the sunlight and attract the attention of the teams sent to save them.
The floods have killed at least five people, wrecked more than 17,000 homes and left more than 1,200 people unaccounted for. Phone service, cell and landline, was out across much of the disaster zone, blocking authorities from knowing the full human toll.