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People rescued by helicopters from Colo. flooding

A team from Rocky Mountain Rescue prepares to depart on a mountain flood rescue mission flown by the National Guard, in Boulder, Colo., Friday Sept. 13, 2013. Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people reportedly dead and the widespread high waters have hampered emergency workers’ access to affected communities as heavy rains hammered northern Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

A team from Rocky Mountain Rescue prepares to depart on a mountain flood rescue mission flown by the National Guard, in Boulder, Colo., Friday Sept. 13, 2013. Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people reportedly dead and the widespread high waters have hampered emergency workers’ access to affected communities as heavy rains hammered northern Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Will Pitner is rescued by emergency workers, and neighbor Jeff Writer, left, after a night trapped sheltering outside on high ground above his home as it filled with water from a surge of water, after days of record rain and flooding, at the base of Boulder Canyon, Colo., Friday Sept. 13, 2013 in Boulder. Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people reportedly dead and the widespread high waters have hampered emergency workers’ access to affected communities as heavy rains hammered northern Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Will Pitner is rescued by emergency workers after a night trapped sheltering outside on high ground above his home as it filled with water from the surge of water, after days of record rain and flooding, at the base of Boulder Canyon, Colo., Friday Sept. 13, 2013 in Boulder. People in Boulder were ordered to evacuate as water rose to dangerous levels amid a storm system that has been dropping rain for a week. Rescuers struggled to reach dozens of people cut off by flooding in mountain communities, while residents in the Denver area and other areas were warned to stay off flooded streets. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Will Pitner is rescued by emergency workers after a night trapped sheltering outside on high ground above his home as it filled with water after days of record rain and flooding, at the base of Boulder Canyon, Colo., Friday Sept. 13, 2013 in Boulder. People in Boulder were ordered to evacuate as water rose to dangerous levels amid a storm system that has been dropping rain for a week. Rescuers struggled to reach dozens of people cut off by flooding in mountain communities, while residents in the Denver area and other areas were warned to stay off flooded streets. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

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LYONS, Colo. (AP) — This is what Associated Press reporters on the scene Friday are learning about unfolding events:

7:28 p.m. MDT

The Colorado National Guard says it has helped evacuate more than 550 people by ground and air. Authorities plan to airlift flood victims throughout the night.

7 p.m. MDT

The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Granby for 21 adults and 154 seventh-graders who were stranded at a youth camp near Estes Park. The campers were loaded into a school bus and are traveling across Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park on their way to the shelter.

5:14 p.m. MDT

Helicopter news footage shows roads east of Greeley cut off by flooding, and broad swaths of land inundated by water. A man is seen escaping flooded farmland on horseback as rescue crews ferry an inflatable raft carrying at least two dogs. Heavy rain is moving through the area west of Denver.

4:04 p.m. MDT

Colorado officials raised the death toll from flooding to four after a woman’s body was found in Boulder. Sheriff Joe Pelle says the unidentified woman was swept away Thursday after a vehicle got stuck in high water. A man in the same vehicle died after he got out and tried to help her. Pelle says 80 people in Boulder County are still unaccounted for.

3:41 p.m. MDT

Authorities say as many as 2,500 people could be evacuated from Lyons by the end of the day.

3:30 p.m. MDT

Boulder County officials say National Guard helicopters are rescuing nearly 300 residents stranded in Jamestown, a mountain town cut off by flooding. It’s unclear how many more people are in the town.

3:26 p.m. MDT

A helicopter has been evacuating stranded people in Larimer County, focusing on those with medical problems. After getting his first aerial view of the destruction, Sheriff Justin Smith said hundreds if not thousands of people, remain stranded and are running low of food and fuel.

3:15 p.m. MDT

Sixth graders finishing a week at Jefferson County’s outdoor lab school on Mount Evans hiked down the mountain to school buses because a road to the school was impassable. The 138 students made the trek with authorities during a break in the weather.

1:56 p.m. MDT

The football game between Fresno State and Colorado is being postponed because of the flooding devastating the state. Chancellor Philip DiStefano said the community is hurting and it’s not a good time to put pressure on the community and divert attention away from people in need.

1:32 p.m. MDT

The National Park Service says a pair of hikers made it down Longs Peak, one of Colorado’s highest points, on their own after being stranded by an ice storm for two days. The news came just as the Park Service was organizing its latest effort to rescue the women.

12:30 p.m. MDT

Rocky Mountain National Park is closed and officials are escorting remaining visitors out of the park. Officials say they’re working to mount rescue efforts for two hikers reported missing on Longs Peak, a 14,259-foot mountain there. Trail Ridge Road through the park, the highest continuous paved road in the United States, remains open to emergency vehicles and residents evacuating from the town of Estes Park.

11:56 a.m. MDT

Flooding has closed Interstate 25 from north of Denver to Cheyenne, a 90-mile stretch. Three major rivers — Big Thompson, St. Vrain, and Poudre — normally flow under the highway in northern Colorado, but flood waters have pushed over the top of the roadway in some locations.

11:22 a.m. MDT

Officials at the University of Colorado are discussing whether the football game between Fresno State and Colorado will be played Saturday or pushed back because of flooding.

11:01 a.m. MDT

Helicopters are flying in Boulder and Larimer counties to reach stranded people and drop supplies. Low visibility had grounded them Thursday.

10:49 a.m. MDT

Blue skies are peeking through clouds over the Front Range, but more rain is expected in the afternoon.

10:10 a.m. MDT

An elderly man who was walking his dog was rescued from a Denver drainage ditch after being swept away by rushing water. Denver Fire Department spokesman Mark Watson said witnesses saw the man and dog fall into the water, and called for help. He was pulled from the water four blocks away, but his condition wasn’t immediately available.

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6:31 a.m. MDT

Authorities went door-to-door in Morrison, south of the historic Red Rocks Amphitheater, asking hundreds of people to evacuate as Bear Creek neared flood stage. The amphitheater was in no immediate danger.

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2 a.m. MDT

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner tours the flood damage, and says Boulder Creek has begun to recede but conditions remain dangerous.

Associated Press


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