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Colorado evacuees return to find more heartbreak

  • A woman is  helped off of a military helicopter at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday,  Sept. 16,  2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    A woman is helped off of a military helicopter at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Miranda Woodard, left, and  Joey Schendel help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygiene, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013.  Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened Monday, to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    Miranda Woodard, left, and Joey Schendel help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygiene, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened Monday, to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • What looks like a river in fact used to be the front and back yards of the residents of these homes  in Jamestown, Colo.,  on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  People in the town say the the Little Jim Creek which used to flow quietly through town has changed course and is tearing apart properties and houses as it continues to rage. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

    What looks like a river in fact used to be the front and back yards of the residents of these homes in Jamestown, Colo., on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. People in the town say the the Little Jim Creek which used to flow quietly through town has changed course and is tearing apart properties and houses as it continues to rage. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

  • What looks like a river in fact used to be the front and back yards of the residents of these homes  in Jamestown, Colo.,  on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  People in the town say the the Little Jim Creek which used to flow quietly through town has changed course and is tearing apart properties and houses as it continues to rage. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

    What looks like a river in fact used to be the front and back yards of the residents of these homes in Jamestown, Colo., on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. People in the town say the the Little Jim Creek which used to flow quietly through town has changed course and is tearing apart properties and houses as it continues to rage. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

  • Local residents, left to right, Levi Wolfe, Miranda Woodard, Tyler Sadar, and Genevieve Marquez help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygeine, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Searches continue for missing people in isolated Colorado mountain towns. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    Local residents, left to right, Levi Wolfe, Miranda Woodard, Tyler Sadar, and Genevieve Marquez help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygeine, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Searches continue for missing people in isolated Colorado mountain towns. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • Flood victims are helped off of military helicopters at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday,  Sept. 16,  2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Flood victims are helped off of military helicopters at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • A military helicopter takes off from Boulder Municipal Airport as another, in foreground, warms up to fly in Boulder, Colo., on Monday, Sept. 16,  2013. Crews are searching for pockets of individuals still stranded from flooding that began late last week.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    A military helicopter takes off from Boulder Municipal Airport as another, in foreground, warms up to fly in Boulder, Colo., on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Crews are searching for pockets of individuals still stranded from flooding that began late last week. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mike Steinpach moves mud out from the basement of Stan McDonald's house damaged by flooding near the corner of Widgeon Dr. and Allen Drive. Longmont, Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Hyoung Chang)

    Mike Steinpach moves mud out from the basement of Stan McDonald's house damaged by flooding near the corner of Widgeon Dr. and Allen Drive. Longmont, Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Hyoung Chang)

  • A heavy flow of water pours out of a parking lot on E. Elkhorn Ave. overwhelming a culvert heading under the roadway.  As a steady rain continues to fall, the town of Estes Park, Colo., begins Sunday Sept. 15, 2013 to clean up the flooded downtown streets and stores that are popular for visitors. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Kathryn Scott Osler)

    A heavy flow of water pours out of a parking lot on E. Elkhorn Ave. overwhelming a culvert heading under the roadway. As a steady rain continues to fall, the town of Estes Park, Colo., begins Sunday Sept. 15, 2013 to clean up the flooded downtown streets and stores that are popular for visitors. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Kathryn Scott Osler)

  • A house lays completely demolished in what was the path of the recent floods that have destroyed the town of Jamestown, Colo., on Sunday Sept. 14, 2013.  No one has been able to access the town until late Sunday afternoon when crews finalized repairs of the upper portion of the road for emergency traffic only.  The town has no infrastructure or running water.  Some parts of town amazingly enough have electricity.  A dozen or so residents stayed as most of the town was evacuated by helicopters. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

    A house lays completely demolished in what was the path of the recent floods that have destroyed the town of Jamestown, Colo., on Sunday Sept. 14, 2013. No one has been able to access the town until late Sunday afternoon when crews finalized repairs of the upper portion of the road for emergency traffic only. The town has no infrastructure or running water. Some parts of town amazingly enough have electricity. A dozen or so residents stayed as most of the town was evacuated by helicopters. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

  • Hayden Court collapsed during the flooding of the Troxell neighborhood in Longmont,  Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly. (AP Photo/Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)

    Hayden Court collapsed during the flooding of the Troxell neighborhood in Longmont, Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly. (AP Photo/Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)

  • BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 14: Colleen Keane, right, tries to salvage clothing by washing it out in the gutter in front of her home near Iris Ave and 9th St. in Boulder, Colo., Monday morning, September 16, 2013. Keane rents the basement of this house which was completely flooded out by the overflowing Two-Mile Creek.   Water reached the ceiling of the basement of the house owned by Anne Skok, left.  (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO SALES; NEW YORK POST OUT; NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OUT (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

    BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 14: Colleen Keane, right, tries to salvage clothing by washing it out in the gutter in front of her home near Iris Ave and 9th St. in Boulder, Colo., Monday morning, September 16, 2013. Keane rents the basement of this house which was completely flooded out by the overflowing Two-Mile Creek. Water reached the ceiling of the basement of the house owned by Anne Skok, left. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO SALES; NEW YORK POST OUT; NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OUT (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

  • A truck rests next to the washed out railroad track in the Champion Greens neighborhood in Longmont,  Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)

    A truck rests next to the washed out railroad track in the Champion Greens neighborhood in Longmont, Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)

  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guardsmen loading a woman into a truck to be evacuated from Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guardsmen loading a woman into a truck to be evacuated from Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows vehicles damages by flood waters on a street in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows vehicles damages by flood waters on a street in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows two men carrying bottled water down a street in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows two men carrying bottled water down a street in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT- This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows two men carrying bottled water down a street in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT- This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows two men carrying bottled water down a street in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • A man looked out the window of his truck after it stalled in rising water in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.  Many streets were flooded with rainwater during several heavy storms. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

    A man looked out the window of his truck after it stalled in rising water in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Many streets were flooded with rainwater during several heavy storms. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

    ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut in Lyons, Colo. Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)

  • A woman is  helped off of a military helicopter at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday,  Sept. 16,  2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    A woman is helped off of a military helicopter at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • A woman is  helped off of a military helicopter at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday,  Sept. 16,  2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Miranda Woodard, left, and  Joey Schendel help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygiene, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013.  Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened Monday, to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
  • What looks like a river in fact used to be the front and back yards of the residents of these homes  in Jamestown, Colo.,  on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  People in the town say the the Little Jim Creek which used to flow quietly through town has changed course and is tearing apart properties and houses as it continues to rage. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)
  • What looks like a river in fact used to be the front and back yards of the residents of these homes  in Jamestown, Colo.,  on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  People in the town say the the Little Jim Creek which used to flow quietly through town has changed course and is tearing apart properties and houses as it continues to rage. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)
  • Local residents, left to right, Levi Wolfe, Miranda Woodard, Tyler Sadar, and Genevieve Marquez help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygeine, Colo., Monday Sept. 16, 2013. Searches continue for missing people in isolated Colorado mountain towns. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
  • Flood victims are helped off of military helicopters at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday,  Sept. 16,  2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • A military helicopter takes off from Boulder Municipal Airport as another, in foreground, warms up to fly in Boulder, Colo., on Monday, Sept. 16,  2013. Crews are searching for pockets of individuals still stranded from flooding that began late last week.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Mike Steinpach moves mud out from the basement of Stan McDonald's house damaged by flooding near the corner of Widgeon Dr. and Allen Drive. Longmont, Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Hyoung Chang)
  • A heavy flow of water pours out of a parking lot on E. Elkhorn Ave. overwhelming a culvert heading under the roadway.  As a steady rain continues to fall, the town of Estes Park, Colo., begins Sunday Sept. 15, 2013 to clean up the flooded downtown streets and stores that are popular for visitors. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Kathryn Scott Osler)
  • A house lays completely demolished in what was the path of the recent floods that have destroyed the town of Jamestown, Colo., on Sunday Sept. 14, 2013.  No one has been able to access the town until late Sunday afternoon when crews finalized repairs of the upper portion of the road for emergency traffic only.  The town has no infrastructure or running water.  Some parts of town amazingly enough have electricity.  A dozen or so residents stayed as most of the town was evacuated by helicopters. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)
  • Hayden Court collapsed during the flooding of the Troxell neighborhood in Longmont,  Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly. (AP Photo/Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)
  • BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 14: Colleen Keane, right, tries to salvage clothing by washing it out in the gutter in front of her home near Iris Ave and 9th St. in Boulder, Colo., Monday morning, September 16, 2013. Keane rents the basement of this house which was completely flooded out by the overflowing Two-Mile Creek.   Water reached the ceiling of the basement of the house owned by Anne Skok, left.  (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; NO SALES; NEW YORK POST OUT; NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OUT (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
  • A truck rests next to the washed out railroad track in the Champion Greens neighborhood in Longmont,  Colo., Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.  Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly. (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)
  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guardsmen loading a woman into a truck to be evacuated from Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows vehicles damages by flood waters on a street in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows two men carrying bottled water down a street in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT- This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows two men carrying bottled water down a street in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows National Guard trucks making their way down one of the main streets in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • A man looked out the window of his truck after it stalled in rising water in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.  Many streets were flooded with rainwater during several heavy storms. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)
  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • ADDS MAGS OUT-This photo taken on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, shows the foundation of a house being undercut  in Lyons, Colo.  Access to the small mountain town was cut off after bridges were destroyed by flash flooding. Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services. Roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, and most shops are closed.(AP Photo/Kenneth Wajda)
  • A woman is  helped off of a military helicopter at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., on on Monday,  Sept. 16,  2013, after being rescued. Thousands of people remained stranded by high water and washed out roads in the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Weary Colorado evacuees have begun returning home after days of rain and flooding, but yesterday’s clearing skies and receding waters revealed only more heartbreak: toppled houses, upended vehicles and a stinking layer of muck covering everything.

Rescuers grounded by weekend rains took advantage of the break in the weather to resume searches for people still stranded, with 21 helicopters fanning out over the mountainsides and the plains to drop supplies and airlift those who need help.

The confirmed death toll stood at four, with two women missing and presumed dead.

The number of missing people was difficult to pinpoint, but it has been decreasing. The state’s count fell yesterday from more than 1,200 to about half that. State officials hoped the overall number would continue to drop with rescuers reaching more people and phone service being restored.

“You’ve got to remember, a lot of these folks lost cell phones, landlines, the internet four to five days ago,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said on NBC’s Today show. “I am very hopeful that the vast majority of these people are safe and sound.”

Residents of Hygiene returned to their small community east of the foothills to find mud blanketing roads, garages, even the tops of fence posts. The raging St. Vrain River they fled three days earlier had left trucks in ditches and carried items as far as 2 miles downstream.

“My own slice of heaven, and it’s gone,” Bill Marquedt said after finding his home destroyed.

Residents immediately set to sweeping, shoveling and rinsing, but the task of rebuilding seemed overwhelming to some.

“What now? We don’t even know where to start,” said Genevieve Marquez. “It’s not even like a day-by-day or a month thing.

“I want to think that far ahead but it’s a minute-by-minute thing at this point. And, I guess now it’s just help everyone out and try to get our lives back,” she added.

In the mountain towns, major roads were washed away or covered by mud and rock slides. Hamlets like Glen Haven were reduced to debris and key infrastructure like gas lines and sewers systems were destroyed.

Hundreds of homes around Estes Park, next to Rocky Mountain National Park, could be unreachable and uninhabitable for up to a year, Town Administrator Frank Lancaster said.

The town of Lyons was almost completely abandoned. Emergency crews gave the few remaining residents, mostly wandering Main Street looking for status updates, a final warning to leave Sunday.

Most of the town’s trailer parks were completely destroyed. One angry man was throwing his possessions one by one into the river rushing along one side of his trailer Sunday, watching the brown water carry them away while drinking a beer.

State emergency officials offered a first glimpse at the scope of the damage, with counties reporting about 19,000 homes either damaged or destroyed.

Those preliminary figures are certain to change as the waters continue to recede and roads are cleared to allow crews to access more areas.

Searchers in the air and on the ground scoured isolated areas from the foothills east to homes and communities along waterways downstream.

Cole Cannon, a volunteer firefighter with the Indian Peaks Fire Protection District, said he encountered mud, rocks, slides and fallen trees rode as he rode an all-terrain vehicle down Lefhand Canyon to the town of Rowena.

Numerous houses had been destroyed, and he didn’t know whether the residents had escaped or would be found dead.

Hickenlooper said later at a news conference that many of the bridges, culverts and roadways that were damaged and destroyed were built a long time ago, and with federal assistance, the state could come away with a stronger infrastructure.

“It’s not too early to begin planning what the recovery is going to look like,” he said.

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