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Death toll from Colorado floods likely to rise

  • This Sept. 13, 2013 photo provided by Earth Vision Trust shows destruction on Gold Run Creek north of Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 13, 2013. The destructive force took out many homes, cars, trees, and completely washed out Gold Run Road. By air and by land, the rescue of hundreds of Coloradoans stranded by epic mountain flooding accelerated Saturday as debris-filled rivers became muddy seas that extended into towns and farms miles from the Rockies. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Earth Vision Trust, Matthew Kennedy)

LYONS — As rescuers broke through to flood-ravaged Colorado towns, they issued a stern warning Saturday 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. But not everybody was willing to go. Dozens of people in the isolated community of Jamestown wanted to stay to watch over their homes.

Authorities made clear that residents who chose not to leave might not get another chance for a while.

"We're not trying to force anyone from their home. We're not trying to be forceful, but we're trying to be very factual and definitive about the consequences of their decision, and we hope that they will come down," Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said.

Special education teacher Brian Shultz, 38, was torn about leaving his Jamestown home.


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