Colorado flooding cuts off mountain towns, kills 3

LYONS, Colo. (AP) — Rain continues to fall in northern Colorado where rescuers are struggling to reach dozens of people cut off by flooding in mountain communities.

The towns of Lyons, Jamestown and others in the Rocky Mountain foothills have been isolated by flooding and without power or telephone service. Rainstorms have been hanging over the region all week and up to 8 inches more fell Thursday in an area spanning from the Wyoming border south to the foothills west of Denver.

At least three people have been killed and another is missing, while hundreds of people have been forced to seek shelter up and down Colorado's populated Front Range.

The Colorado National Guard began trucking people out of Lyons on Thursday evening.

President Barack Obama has approved federal disaster assistance for hard-hit Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate the relief effort.

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269-a-12-(Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County, Colo., at news conference)-"there with them"-Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith says between flooding and the weather -- they haven't been able to bring helicopters up to evacuate people near the west fork of the Little Thompson River. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *269 (09/12/13)££ 00:12 "there with them"

271-a-15-(Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County, Colo., at news conference)-"cars driving through"-Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith says there have been multiple highway closures due to flooding and falling debris. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *271 (09/12/13)££ 00:15 "cars driving through"

272-a-09-(Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County, Colo., at news conference)-"out of there"-Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith says officials in Loveland, Colorado are preparing in case they lose the bridges that connect the two halves of the town. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *272 (09/12/13)££ 00:09 "out of there"

273-a-13-(Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County, Colo., at news conference)-"down Elkhorn Avenue"-Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith says the Big Thompson River has flooded businesses on a main drag in the resort town of Estes Park. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *273 (09/12/13)££ 00:13 "down Elkhorn Avenue"

274-a-06-(Governor John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., at news conference)-"declaration, from FEMA"-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says the state is seeking federal assistance for handling the flood, and the upcoming cleanup. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *274 (09/12/13)££ 00:06 "declaration, from FEMA"

277-a-10-(Governor John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., at news conference)-"a 100-year flood"-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says even though some of the flooding is occurring in areas that lost foliage because of wildfires, that really doesn't seem to be the problem. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *277 (09/12/13)££ 00:10 "a 100-year flood"

270-a-08-(Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County, Colo., at news conference)-"that flood plain"-Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith says responders are dealing with flooding and multiple washouts in the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *270 (09/12/13)££ 00:08 "that flood plain"

275-a-11-(Governor John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., at news conference)-"kept dumping water"-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says the extent of flooding was a big surprise for everyone. (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *275 (09/12/13)££ 00:11 "kept dumping water"

276-a-17-(Governor John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., at news conference)-"have to rebuild"-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says, fortunately, there are new regulations for building developers to plan for flooding events and water containment. ((note length of cut)) (12 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *276 (09/12/13)££ 00:17 "have to rebuild"

APPHOTO COCOL104: Flood water shoots out of a sewer on Canon Avenue on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, in Manitou Springs, Colo. Flash flooding in Colorado has cut off access to towns, closed the University of Colorado in Boulder and left at least three people dead. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Michael Ciaglo) (12 Sep 2013)

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APPHOTO COHO104: This image provided by Jason Stillman, shows flooding in Lyons Colo., Thursday Sept. 12, 2013. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said the town of Lyons was completely cut off because of flooded roads. Flash flooding in Colorado has cut off access to towns, closed the University of Colorado in Boulder and left at least three people dead. (AP Photo/Jason Stillman) (12 Sep 2013)

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APPHOTO COHO102: This image provided by Jason Stillman, shows flooding in Lyons Colo., Thursday Sept. 12, 2013. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said the town of Lyons was completely cut off because of flooded roads. Flash flooding in Colorado has cut off access to towns, closed the University of Colorado in Boulder and left at least three people dead. (AP Photo/Jason Stillman) (12 Sep 2013)

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APPHOTO RPBN101: Residents of a neighborhood on the northern side of Boulder, Colo., work to divert floodwaters away from their homes on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. Autorities say flooding in the area has washed out roads, left rural communities isolated and is responsible for at least three deaths. (AP Photo/Ben Neary) (12 Sep 2013)

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