Local firefighters sent to flood-ravaged Colorado - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local firefighters sent to flood-ravaged Colorado

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - More bad weather is hampering search and rescue efforts in Colorado.

The National Guard has rescued more than 2,000 people but there are still hundreds unaccounted for, days after historic flooding.

The devastation is widespread. From the mountains to the eastern plains, flood waters continue to terrorize communities across Colorado.

Boulder resident Patricia Birdsong's basement is just one of many that have been hit.

"We had 5 feet of water in the basement, it came up about 5 feet. And then I think there's about 8 inches of mud in the basement right now," she said.

Several people have died in the floods and many are missing. One of them is Martha Alvarado's husband.

"He went to work yesterday... about 4:30 in the morning. And we haven't heard anything from him. He hasn't called or anything and we're wondering if he's okay," Alvarado said.

Her Evans mobile home park has been completely submerged, and most don't have flood insurance.

Colorado's governor has been touring the devastation and his helicopter has even helped rescue several people.

"In terms of what we saw in the devastation, whole areas of roads, I mean not just the asphalt taken away but the entire road bed," Gov. John Hickenlooper said. "You could see whole corners in many places, hundreds of yards of road completely gone, bridge after bridge missing."

Because the water has taken out several roads, many communities are out of reach and helicopters are the only way to rescue those stranded.

One of the people helping in that effort is San Marcos Fire Captain Jim Colston.

"We're going into day four of people being stranded so their food and water could be towards the end of what they have as rations. So we definitely wanna get it here and get those folks out," he said.

The constant rain isn't helping and Colston says once it finally stops, the rebuilding will be a very long road.

"It's overwhelming the low lying areas, we've had housing projects that have been completely wiped out," he said. "Roadways and infrastructures are very compromised. So we're still getting a handle on the magnitude of it."

As for some of the latest numbers, authorities say around 19,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Close to 12,000 people have been evacuated. Around 1200 people are unaccounted for.

Authorities say the flood waters are affecting an area that covers 4,500 square miles.

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