CHOCTAW, Okla. – More than 1,200 had been reported unaccounted statewide as of Sunday night in Colorado following the raging flood water that spread to 15 counties. Many people are trapped and forced to say goodbye to their homes.
One Oklahoman made it back safely after being stuck in high waters for days.
The Big Thompson River’s unforgiving flood waters, viciously forced roads, bridges and homes underwater in Lyons Colorado.
The deadly water has taken the lives of five people and officials expect that number to rise.
June Weston, from Choctaw, was one of the thousands of people trapped and eventually rescued.
“Look at that,” said Weston.
Weston was in Lyons for her uncle’s funeral, she captured a picture of her cousin Nancy as she watched her surroundings get swept away.
“She just lost her dad, she’s losing everything, this was her town. Her husband was born and raised here. They’ve lived there for thirty years and it is gone,” said Weston.
Campers and cars, homes and buildings and roads all stuck under water.
More than 1,000 people and hundreds of pets were rescued through air and ground operations by the Colorado National Guard and U.S. Army division in Fort Carson.
Weston said she witnessed many people risk their lives to help others.
“They formed a human chain, the people that were on the road and got these people across,” said Weston.
When the National Guard rescued Weston and her family, she remembers the overwhelming sense of relief.
As an Oklahoman, Weston has had her share of natural disasters and said the people in Lyons, Colorado will rise above and rebuild.
“You’ve got to stay safe and all those possessions, they’re just things,” said Weston.
Weston’s family said it’s still raining in Lyons as of Monday.
After her family talked with the National Guard, it looks like their house is savable but will take weeks, if not months before they’re allowed to go back inside.
The numbers are stark: As many as six dead. Hundreds more unaccounted for. Up to 1,000 people still awaiting evacuation.
But it’s the stories — of loss, but also generosity and gratitude — that truly reflect the scope of the misery, and the tenacity of spirit, in Colorado’s once-in-a-lifetime flooding — now in its fifth day.