Flash floods are sweeping across Colorado, washing out roads and cutting off communities. At least three people have been reported dead as a result of a devastating overnight storm that dumped over half a foot of rain across the region. Officials describe the situation as extremely dangerous and urge stranded residents to stay at home and conserve resources as search-and-rescue teams struggle to traverse flooded roadways.

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Boulder County, one of Colorado’s biggest urban areas, was hardest hit by last night’s violent storm in addition to the past four days of steady rainfall. Inundated waterways have led to a build up of water causing huge, life-threatening water walls to careen down mountainsides; the National Weather Service recently reported a 20-foot wall of water that crashed down in Boulder County. Schools throughout the area, including the main campus of the University of Colorado, have been closed down and evacuated.

Flooding has been reported all along the Front Range, from Colorado Springs to north of Fort Collins. Officials have even reported flooding occurring in areas that are not even close to water sources. As homes and dams continue to collapse, impassable roads and mudslides increasingly thwart rescue efforts. Waterlogged soils have made the land extremely unstable, with fears that continued rainfall and the collapse of dams will bring more death and destruction.

Via LA Times

Images via Wikimedia, U.S. Geological Survey