BOULDER, Col. -- Flash flooding has left at least three people dead and hundreds stranded in the Colorado mountains.
Flood-waters washed out roads and bridges and forced schools and businesses to close Thursday.
As more rain continues to fall rescuers are working to assess the damage and reach those still stranded by the flood-waters.
Hours of heavy rains triggered overnight flash floods that swept through the Boulder area.
"This is the most rain I've ever seen while living here that's for sure," said one Boulder resident.
"I've lived here 26 years and I've never seen anything close to this," said another.
Scores of residents of Boulder, Colo., sheltered in a local YMCA late on Thursday as the region washed by days of rain and now flash floods braced against the continuing storms that have already claimed three lives.
"It's insane right now, I've lived in Colorado my whole life, and this is nothing that I've ever, ever seen before," said Andra Coberly spokesperson for the YMCA in Boulder. "Streets were turned into rivers and streams were turned into lakes."
Hers was a common story in the storm-swept region, even as forecasters said the rains were likely to continue to pour down on saturated grounds through Sunday.
The torrential downpours that lashed parts of Colorado drove hundreds of people from their homes, shut down Boulder and the nearby university, and had police and fire responders scrambling all day as they worked to help stranded residents in what they described as a still-developing disaster.
The bad weather also hampered rescue efforts, making it impossible to get search and rescue helicopters into the air, officials said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, and increasing the dangers for responders who tried to make their way into some of the most affected areas.
About 6.8 inches of rain fell over the city in a 24-hour period, according to the National Weather Service.
The first death was reported near Jamestown, according to officials, and was thought to be because of a building collapse.
Another person was found dead on Linden Drive in Boulder County, officials said. The Colorado Springs Fire Department reported a third death on Thursday morning after a body was recovered near Interstate 25, when authorities were patrolling the area around 5:30 a.m. local Colorado time.
Throughout the surrounding area, some residents struggled to find their way to safety as flood waters threatened and officials warned everyone to stay indoors and far from waterways.
Sally Truitt, 51, was at home on her farm in Lyons, Colo., when she got a call around 1 a.m. saying they were under a mandatory evacuation order, and had to get out fast. Along with five other people and eight dogs in three cars, she fled home looking for safety from the rushing St. Vrain River, and not a moment too soon.
"As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, there was a breaching of the river nearby," Truitt said. "We just barely made it out in time. We were lucky."
Truitt's 17-year-old daughter Early Ferguson described going back early Thursday morning to see what was left.
"We went to a cliff above my dad's house and it was just completely flooded," the teen said. "It was like a river over my house. We could hear the dogs barking on the second floor. It was really scary."
Via NBC News
Denver is also having flooding issues in their area. Here is some video of Estes Park flooding in Denver: