National Guard begins airlifting thousands out of the town of Lyons

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Grateful evacuee hugs a National Guard member

Grateful evacuee hugs a National Guard member

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LYONS, Colo. -- The community of Lyons in Boulder County is one of several towns cut-off to the rest of the outside world. Raging floodwaters destroyed roads in and out of the towns.

Enter the National Guard. Members are airlifting thousands of people to Longmont and away from the danger and destruction of their town.

Helicopters are ferrying supplies to cut-off Boulder Co. mountain towns and airlifting stranded residents back out. Another one of those towns is Jamestown. Resident Sandra Levitt (who was choppered out Friday evening) described what it was like leaving.

"It looks like the war... pieces of houses, whole houses, floating down the river. Rooms floating down, septic tanks floating down, roads out. It really looks like the next war. I felt like the last refugee out."

Hundreds of search and rescue workers are on scene, including crews from Utah and Nebraska.

"This is the largest contingent of urban search and rescue staff deployed in Colorado for a disaster in history," says FEMA spokesman Ricardo Zuniga.\

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle has a sobering reminder for everyone. "We don't know about lives lost, homes lost, people stranded in many, many canyon areas in our upper communities."

"People are working around the clock as hard as they possibly can to get those roadways open, to get help," he says.

The video clip includes Hendrik Sybrandy on the rescues, and Sara Morris at the shelter in Longmont where residents of Lyons are going.

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