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National Guard: 15 flood rescuers stranded on high ground near Lyons

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Soldiers evacuate fifth-grade students from Firewood Elementary. (Credit: CNN)

LYONS, Colo. — It seems no one is beyond the reach of Colorado’s epic flooding.

Fifteen Colorado National Guard members and other first responders were stranded Monday on high ground after rising floodwaters the day before forced them to abandon efforts to evacuate residents from flooded areas near Lyons, a National Guard spokeswoman said.

The troops and emergency workers are stuck there until the waters recede or helicopters can come to rescue them, Colorado National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa Theiral said.

U.S. Army helicopters rescued the civilians, as well as some troops and first responders, during a brief lull in the bad weather Sunday that has kept many choppers grounded, according to the National Guard.

However, before the helicopter crews were able to launch to rescue the rest of the troops and emergency workers, the weather turned bad again, the National Guard said.

Unable to ford the high waters despite their specialized vehicles, the 15 rescuers spent the night on high ground, according to the National Guard.

More than 1,200 people remain unaccounted for amid the flooding in Colorado, which has inundated hundreds of square miles of the state’s Front Range.

Five deaths have been reported, and thousands of people have been evacuated.


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