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Colorado residents warned to flee floods

BOULDER, Colo. — As rescuers broke through to flood-ravaged Colorado towns yesterday, they issued a stern warning to anyone thinking of staying behind: Leave now, or be prepared to endure weeks without electricity, running water and basic supplies.
National Guard helicopters and truck convoys carried the admonition into paralyzed canyon communities where thousands of stranded residents were eager to escape the Rocky Mountain foothills.
Not everybody was willing to go. Dozens of people in the isolated community of Jamestown wanted to stay to watch over their homes.
Special-education teacher Brian Shultz, 38, was torn about leaving his Jamestown home.
“I was thinking about staying. I could have lasted at least a year. I have a lot of training in wilderness survival,” he said, adding that he probably had enough beer to last the whole time.
Four people have been confirmed dead since the harrowing floods began on Wednesday. And hundreds of others have not been heard from in the flood zone, which has grown to cover portions of an area nearly the size of Connecticut.

Some of those who are unaccounted for might be stranded or injured. Others might have gotten out but not yet contacted friends and relatives, officials said.
Police expected to find more bodies as the full scope of damage emerges.
A woman was missing and presumed dead after witnesses saw floodwaters from the Big Thompson River destroy her home in the Cedar Cove area, Larimer County sheriff’s spokesman John Schulz said.
“I expect that we’re going to continue to receive reports of confirmed missing and confirmed fatalities throughout the next several days,” he said.
The military put more troops on the ground and helicopters in the air to aid in the search-and-rescue effort. More rain was in the forecast.
By last night, 1,750 people and 300 pets had been evacuated from Boulder and Larimer County, National Guard Lt. James Goff said.
The airlifts will continue today with helicopter crews expanding their searches east to include Longmont, Fort Collins and Weld County.
Near Greeley, 35 miles east of the foothills, broad swaths of farmland had become lakes, and the raging South Platte and Poudre rivers surrounded more homes.

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